What Do Real Estate Agents Actually Do?

Popular culture has probably painted a picture for you of real estate agents. This might be anything from a cut throat negotiator to something along the lines of a used car salesman. In honesty the truth depends on which agent you talk to. However, professional real estate agents probably all fall somewhere along the lines of what is discussed below. So what do real estate agents actually do?

Hint: It’s a lot more than showing property, and coming to closing

It depends on who they are representing (buyer or seller). This is because there are vastly different roles that a real estate agent must fulfill. Let’s take a look at each of these roles.

What Do Real Estate Agents Actually Do When Representing a Buyer?

A buyer’s agent certainly shows a lot of property. However, they must also be a neighborhood and community expert. Buyer’s agents spend a lot of time researching. They do this in order to remain knowledgeable about pricing and the overall condition of the market. Research also allows them to find you homes that match your criteria. Being an expert on neighborhoods and the current market is vital. This is important in order to aid their clients in selecting a home and location that best meet the buyer’s needs. They will be able to tell you about specific builders’ construction practices. Along with this they can show you which homes to select and which to avoid.

The buyer’s agent must also be a negotiation expert in order to get their client’s offer accepted. This is actually only the beginning as buyer’s agents must also guide the transaction through the under contract process. During this phase the home needs an inspection and appraisal. Depending on the outcome of these inspections additional negotiation may be required. You want to make sure you have a skilled negotiator in your corner. This will allow the home buying process to work out in your favor.

Good Real Estate Agent’s Don’t Just List It And Leave It

What Do Real Estate Agents Do (Open House Sign)

As a seller’s agent the responsibilities change. It is vital to have the listing shown in the best light. This means home staging and professional grade photographs. It also means clearing up issues prior to the property going on the market. Some of these might include minor repairs or ensuring that permits are in order. It really is a case by case basis as no two properties are the same. Once the home is on the market a seller’s agent must be knowledgeable about their listings. They will field many emails and phone calls with questions about the property.

Having spent a great deal of time with your home getting it ready for sale will allow them to know your home inside and out. Absentee agents who never see your home are missing this crucial experience. A seller’s agent will need to negotiate both the initial offer and condition of the property at time of inspection and appraisal. During the under contract process they may also have to address questions of title, insurance or other issues. A knowledgeable and experienced agent can easily solve these issues. This is in sharp contrast to an inexperienced agent who may panic. There are very few new problems in real estate. A seasoned agent has probably seen most of them and can easily advocate for your best interest.

We are highly experienced representing both buyers and sellers in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Contact us today and let us guide you through the real estate process. Doing so will allow your interests to be best represented.

How to Refuse or Counter an Offer

So you are selling your home but you are worried. Worried that a potential buyer might come in and attempt to put in a lowball offer. What do you do when this happens? How to Refuse or Counter an Offer? First of all there is no need to worry. As the seller are not required to accept any offer written on your home. Even if they offer hundreds of thousands over asking price. You still don’t have to accept the offer if you don’t want to. 

What Is The Process to Refuse or Counter an Offer?

When you receive an unacceptable offer you can either flat out reject it, or you can choose to counter their offer. If you choose to flat out reject it we communicate this on your behalf to the other side, and it is done. They of course have the option to write a more acceptable offer which we will present to you and we start over at step one.

If you choose to counter we draft the requisite documents with the price and other details you select. This is presented to the other side and they can elect to accept or reject your counter. This process is a frequent occurrence. As a seller you don’t always have to outright accept or reject a buyers offer. You can instead adjust it to better meet your needs. Of course price isn’t always the end all be all in an offer. Timing can often be just as important. If you need a rent back, or a faster close, we can negotiate this for you.

We can help to shape the contract to result in your best overall outcome, whatever it may be. When listing your home for sale let us be your guide. Contact Us today to find out how we can ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your home sale.

Benefits Of Working With A Real Estate Professional

Whether you are a buyer or a seller there are definite advantages to working with a real estate agent.  So what are the benefits of working with a real estate professional?  An agent can save you time, money and stress because they can help with navigating the unknowns in the market. Here are some specific ways that an agent can be invaluable.


Here are some specifics of how working with an agent can make a difference.  First is the issue of paperwork.  Real estate professionals provide the assistance with all of the necessary paperwork and disclosure required in today’s heavily regulated environment. As a result, an agent’s expertise can help same time by avoiding common errors made by those who are unfamiliar with laws and regulations.


An experienced agent is highly educated and brings that experience to your transaction.  They know the ends and outs and the potential pitfalls.  This means an experienced agent can save you from potential distress and keep the transaction moving forward smoothly.


Real estate agents involved in a transaction act as a buffer in negotiations between the parties. This can help the emotions remain out of the process and keep the deal together and moving forward.  As a result, an agent’s involvement can be particularly important because negotiations can become quite complex, as you move through a transaction.


This is important for both buyers and sellers. Real estate agents can help you understand the current market that you will be a part of.  They have the tools and access to resources that are only available to real estate professionals.  This tools and resources can provide you with information to make educated decisions about pricing your home as a seller and what to offer if you are a buyer. 

One Of The Largest Benefits Of Working With A Real Estate Professional is Market Knowledge

In conclusion, agents are in the market every day.  They know what works and what doesn’t in the market that you are working in.  Moreover, they can be creative and help you best navigate so that you get what you want! This is certainly not all that an agent does or can do for you.  But this gives you an idea of why it is important to work with an agent and how you can benefit from that relationship. Looking for a great agent, Contact Us, we would be happy to help. 

Signs You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Right Now

If you have watched the news even a little lately you know just how wild and crazy the real estate market is. This includes both broadly across the U.S. as well as locally here in Northern Colorado. This being the case you might be thinking it is a great time to sell your home. However, there are a few signs that you shouldn’t sell your home right now. For those people who check enough of these boxes you likely want to wait at least a little bit before you decide to list your home with us.

Purchasing Another Home

One area that might give you pause is if you need to buy another home in a competitive price range in an equally competitive market. This is a bit of a toss up as there are risks both ways. The first is that it is difficult to be competitive when you have a contingent offer. This is one that requires the sale of your current home in order to close.

The other is that you might sell your home before closing on another one. This situation might essentially leave you homeless. Living in temporary housing, or an apartment prior to being able to move into your new home. We have experience getting buyers under contract when they have homes to sell. To do so we use techniques such as bridge loans. It is important to run through the scenarios prior to listing your home for sale. We are happy to undertake this effort with you before rushing to put your home on the market.

You Still Love Your Home

Another time to reconsider selling is when you still love your home. You have likey seen a ridiculous amount of appreciation on your property over the last few years. However, you don’t want to miss out on a great sellers market and leave potential cash on the table. If you still love your home and don’t really want to move you don’t necessarily need to sell in order to realize the benefits of all of this market appreciation.

What you might be interested in is a cash out refinance instead. This allows you to set new loan terms with a lender. The lender will then close the loan with you, allowing you to pull out some of the cash value of your home while you continue to live in and own it.

Let Us Help

Of course these are just a couple of potential scenarios where selling might not be your best option. Every situation is different and we encourage you to Contact Us to talk you through the pros and cons of selling your particular home. We promise not to pressure you into any decision, rather we will provide the facts and let you decide for yourself if there are signs you shouldn’t sell your home right now.

Selling Your Home Yourself in this Hot Sellers Market?

It is easy to think that when it is a Seller’s Market, inventory is low that you could and should just go ahead and sell your home yourself. After all, buyers are snatching up any home that comes on the market and buying those homes at top dollar.  So, thinking of selling your home yourself in this hot sellers market. We know itt is tempting to be a for sale by owner.  But, in a word, DON’T.  

I know that it is easy for me to say that.  I am a Realtor and I benefit when someone uses me to sell their home.  So, why is it a mistake to sell your home yourself.  Most sellers decide to sell their homes themselves so that they will save the commission and net more money.  Research has shown that this is not the case.  Most sellers who sell their homes themselves end up netting a lower median price on their homes.  It is hard to negotiate for yourself. The buyer is wanting the best deal.  The agent for the buyer is looking our for their clients.  You have no one looking out for you and helping you insure that your needs are met.  

Another concern in selling your home yourself in this hot sellers market is Safety!  When you are a for sale by owner it is difficult to control who enters your home.  You do not know if the people that are entering your home are “real” buyers or someone casing your home to later steal from you. 

When you are a for sale by owner it is difficult to have a strong online strategy.  Over 97% of all buyers shop online for their home.  How are buyers going to find your home?  What type of photos are you going to have of your home?  Are you going to provide a virtual tour?  All of this is important. 

When you are a for sale by owner how will you make sure that the buyer that wants to buy your home really can afford it and the lender that they might be working with can really close the deal?  You do not want to waste time with a buyer that cannot buy.  How do you insure all of this?

In our litigious society how do you make sure that you are providing the buyer with the necessary forms and information as a part of the process so that they will not sue you for failure to disclose or any number of other things.  A Realtor can help you avoid legal jeopardy. This alone can save you thousands of dollars.  

It is tempting to think that selling a home is easy and anyone can do it.  You just stick a sign in the yard and the buyers come and they will want to buy.  Then you just go to closing and collect your money.  Things are not always as they seem.  This is one of those situations.  Hire a trained, experienced, top agent to help you sell your home and look out for you.  You will be money ahead in the end. Contact us today and find out how we can help. 

Colorado Water Law

For those from back East our water laws in Colorado and the rest of the West can seem quite confusing. In fact even when you understand the basics a Colorado resident can still still get a little bit turned around when trying to work through where water rights may have gone. We would like to supply you with a simplified and abbreviated lesson on water law in Colorado, however, this knowledge is no substitute for ones own due diligence or utilizing legal council as water ownership can easily be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

In the West

Water law is based on the prior appropriation doctrine. The simplest way to remember this is “first in time first in right.” In the East water law is based off of riparian rights. This means that abutting a river or stream grants you access to utilize this water. Western water rights holders do not need to be near to the water source in order to obtain rights, which is why there are a substantial number of water pipeline projects in Colorado.

Purchasing a property in Colorado

May mean several things when it comes to gaining water for the property. Some properties are under the service of municipal service providers or other water districts. This means they simply pay their monthly water bill and have water provided to the property through existing water infrastructure. This is the typical situation for most homes within city limits throughout Northern Colorado. Others may have access to a well. In this case the well will have been permitted for a specific use. This could be for residential use only or for agriculture or livestock use as well. Finally, you might have to buy shares of water in order to participate in the water district where your property is located. This is most often the case in areas outside of major towns and cities, and when you are building a new home.

Still Have Questions?

Hopefully, that provides a very brief overview of Colorado water law. There is obviously a great deal to be concerned about when it comes to water and the real estate transaction in general. We are happy to work with you to provide guidance through all the unknowns and to make sure your new property meets your needs. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Why Work With a CRS Agent?

Lestel has a number of designations that contribute to the alphabet soup on her business card. However, one that she is most proud of his her CRS designation. But what is a CRS designation and why work with a CRS Agent?

What Is A CRS Agent?

A CRS REALTOR® is a Certified Residential Specialist—one of the top 3 percent of real estate agents in the U.S. CRS agents have more experience and training than the average REALTOR®. They are part of a community of REALTORS® dedicated to improving the real estate industry for homebuyers and sellers everywhere.

Why Work With a CRS Agent?

Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. You need someone you can trust by your side. Someone who is looking out for your best interests. Additionally, someone who is willing to put all their knowledge and experience to work for you. You need a CRS.

Not all real estate agents are made the same. There are millions of real estate agents out there. Their experience and dedication to their profession and clients varies widely.

The threshold to becoming a real estate agent is surprisingly low. Requirements vary by state, but some ask for as little as 40 hours of training and few ask for more than 100 hours. Compare that to the 1,000 hours that are typically required to become a hair stylist.

How To become a CRS

However, REALTORS® must meet a number of stringent requirements. These combine advanced hours of education and training, experience and success in the marketplace. Additionally, a CRS agent adheres to a strict code of ethics. This binds them to perform in the best interest of their clients at all times.

Moreover, CRSs are required to have between 25 and 150 transactions and between 16 and 80 additional hours of education beyond what’s required of the typical REALTOR®.

These are agents who are invested in their careers, in buying and selling real estate and in making sure their clients are satisfied. CRS is the sign of a true real estate professional.

Don’t work with the rest, choose the best. Choose a CRS.

The Benefits of Working with a CRS Agent

  • First, CRSs receive advanced training above and beyond what is required of typical agents
  • Second, CRSs have proven experience through logged transactions
  • Third, CRSs continuously improve their skills and learn about new regulatory developments
  • Finally, CRSs adhere to an ethics code not required of other agents

Contact us today to find out how you can work with a CRS agent no matter where you are looking to buy or sell.

How and Why I Became a Real Estate Agent

I became a Realtor over 20 years ago. Much has changed in that length of time.  Since becoming a Realtor I have seen the market in all its forms. I have seen a strong sellers market, a strong buyers market, the housing crisis, negotiated short sales and helped people avoid foreclosure. I have also seen people have over $100,000 in appreciation in their homes in less than 5 years.  What a ride the last 20 plus years has been. So I bet you’re wondering why I became a real estate agent.

When I decided to become a Realtor

I took the course to get my license by correspondence.  I studied the course content from a notebook.  At the end of each chapter I was required to take a test.  I would fax my test to the school, it would be graded and then I could begin the next chapter.  Then I studied for the licensing exam and drove down to Denver for that test.  I sat in a room with many others that wanted to become a realtor.  After passing the test I came to Century 21 Humpal to begin my career in real estate. 

Back Then

we didn’t have the MLS online like we do today, but instead we had a listing book published and dropped off at each individual real estate office every week. This book was everything you needed to know that had happened in real estate in the Fort Collins area in the last week.  It contained the new listings, the sales that had occurred, under contract and withdrawn listings.  That book was not to leave the office and the book itself was not to be shared with clients. Now, of course, we have everything online and the public has access to much of the same information that we do as agents.  

My greatest surprise in becoming a Realtor

was the public’s opinion of real estate agents.  I had always had positive experiences in buying and selling real estate so I was quite surprised to learn that many people see real estate agents as not much better than a used car salesman.  It was after learning this that I made it my goal to change the public’s opinion of real estate agents one transaction at a time.  

So that is why I became a real estate agent.

Since my earliest days a lot has changed, but many things have stayed the same. I still enjoy working hand in hand with my clients in order to help them reach their real estate goals. Whatever they may be. Some of my greatest joys are the day that that first time home buyer is handed the keys at closing and becomes a homeowner. I also enjoy when my client becomes a landlord for the first time.  It is heartwarming and so rewarding to be trusted to walk people through the process.  I am thankful for each and everyone of you that trusts me.  If you want someone with my experiance contact me today. I will work hard for you and look out for your best interest. 

Should I Sell My Home Myself?

FSBOSome property owners decide to sell their homes themselves to save money on commission. In the real estate world we call this a For Sale By Owner, or FSBO for short.  Do you really end up with more money in your pocket when you sell your home yourself?  According to NAR, National Association of Realtors, the median price of a home sold by a real estate agent last year was $280,000. The median sale price for a “for sale by owner” was $200,000.  So these homeowners could have sold their home for more money. They certainly would have less hassle if they used an agent.

So what are the benefits, other than more money, to working with an agent.

  1. An agent knows the market and can help a seller to set a price for their home that will attract the most buyers.  More buyers means a shorter time period to an offer.
  2. Agent know who to reach out to today’s buyers using up to date marketing and old fashioned marketing that works.
  3. Agents can help with staging advice and refer you to the right service providers so that you home is prepared to excite buyers once they see your home.
  4. An agent can make recommendations to a seller one what improvements might be needed that will pay off in a higher sale price for the home.

Bottom line, Realtors® are professionals that regularly sell homes. Should I Sell My Home Myself? Most homeowners do not have the knowledge to best represent themselves and look out for their best interest in the sale of their home. It is a complicated process and you don’t want to find yourself selling for less than you could. Contact us for help in your next real estate transaction.