How long have you been in business?
Dennis Batchelor, the primary broker at Nesting Rock Properties, has been helping buyers and sellers of homes in Colorado’s Northern Front Range since 2003. Dennis began his real estate career in the Fort Collins area. In the summer of 2016 he renewed his focus on real estate clients after an 8-year break where he worked full time in other ventures and only part time in real estate, primarily in support of investment properties.
What city do you work in?
Dennis Batchelor, the primary broker at Nesting Rock Properties, began his real estate career in Fort Collins, and as a result is fully acquainted with the back roads and byways of that town and its surrounding communities throughout Larimer County. In addition, he worked closely with clients in Greeley, and is familiar with most of the towns in Weld County.
Currently, in Longmont is home to both Nesting Rock Properties and Dennis and his family. As such he is very familiar with the surrounding communities of Lyons, Mead, Firestone, Frederick, Erie, Lafayette, and the rest of Boulder County, as well as parts of Adams county.
I want to buy a townhouse, can you help me?
A townhouse can be a great value for a prospective homeowner, especially a first-time home buyer. The shared walls with the neighboring townhomes reduces the cost of heating the home and the cost of a townhouse is usually less than a single family dwelling.
However, a townhouse can also have its pitfalls. Neighbors become co-owners in a way, since there are many shared expenses and shared decision making that happens through the homeowner’s association. Nesting Rock has experience navigating the maze of paperwork that is generally larger with a town home or condominium purchase and can help prospective buyers understand the pros and cons of their decision.
I want to sell a rental property, can you help me?
Dennis Batchelor and Nesting Rock Properties have experience pricing and selling rental properties in several area markets and is fully equipped to help owners with all of the nuances of the process. With tenants come a number of additional factors for marketing and selling the property. Nesting Rock is successful in negotiating with tenants as much as with buyers to ensure a smooth sales process. While some owners will look to roll their equity into another investment property with the 1031 exchange process, some prefer to take the equity out of their home. We’ll help guide you to the right resources so you can better understand the tax consequences and other implications of your decision so you can learn the rules before you buy or sell a potential income property.
What is your fee?
There is no standard commission or fee set by law for real estate brokers. My fee varies depending on the level of service, customer need, and company policy; however, it is generally in line with typical real estate transactions, or around 3 percent of the sales price. Some brokers in the real estate sales industry charge a low, flat fee for what we call a limited service listing. I believe in a more comprehensive level of service coupled with a fair fee, much like the wait staff at a fine restaurant.
Why do many real estate broker’s get such a high fee?
At the price of homes in the Northern Front Range of Colorado, this is a fair question. Another way to ask it may be, how could you possibly do enough in one sale to earn that kind of money? It may seem unfair to ask for a percentage of the sale price. Keep in mind, though, that there is a cost of doing business and that cost goes up as well. The cost of office space, insurance, utilities, continuing education, maintenance, fuel, taxes and more require a significant income just to keep the doors open. Keeping up with technology and the cost of various advertising programs as well as paying service providers to prepare promotional materials and print items adds up fast. But more importantly, a good real estate broker will guide you through the legal requirements of the transaction so smoothly you’ll barely notice the mounds of legal documents you’ll be required to review and sign. Because a good broker will stay abreast of continuing education requirements, you’ll be able to ease through your transactions with confidence, knowing all the “i’s” are dotted and all the “t’s” are crossed so you can quickly get into your new home, or get your investment property working for you. A broker who does that for you is worth every penny.
What are the steps for working with you?
The first step is easy; contact me by phone, email, text or by shouting my name when you see me across the street. There is no obligation to work with me after our initial chat. Contact me and let’s see if it’s a good fit to work together. We will chat about a list of things:
- whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home
- what town or neighborhood you’re interested in
- whether you’ve already owned a home
- what kind of financing you have (this is important because it helps us know whether your timeline goals are realistic)
- what your price range is
- whether you’re “just looking” or want to buy soon
We won’t get into the specifics of what kind of house you want to buy or what the details of the home you want to sell are until we’ve decided we’re a good match. At that point I like to meet with sellers in person to discuss the specifics of your home and your needs, and to see your home and arrange a time to take photos.
For buyers, we’ll meet to look at some properties from the Multiple Listing Service together and make a list of your interests and requirements in a home.
Are you a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent?
While some brokers work only with buyers and some with sellers, and in Colorado a broker can do both, I do not claim to work with exclusively a buyer or a seller. I love both ends of the process. In some cases, I work with both the buyer and the seller to facilitate the purchase of a home.
Will you take me to see the properties I find myself online? Will you give me a discount for doing the legwork?
At Nesting Rock Properties we will arrange a showing for properties regardless of how you learned about them. That is frequently what we do. However, it is a better use of time if we can arrange several showing appointments in a single tour. For buyers, there is no fee for you to pay, so I can’t offer a discount. The seller of a property is typically the party responsible for paying the fees for the real estate agent or agents in a purchase.
How fast will my home sell?
It would be a great world if everyone’s home sold the first week it was listed. The realistic picture, however, is that sometimes a home sells quickly and sometimes it takes a while, sometimes months or years. The factors are sometimes easy to understand, such as a market with few sellers and many buyers, but other factors are less apparent. As with other purchasing decisions, sometimes price is all that matters while other factors, such as proximity to a park or a busy highway are more significant. Sometimes the quality of photos or the absence of photos can deter the selling process, while designer colors and staged furniture can make the sale easier. But in my years in the business I’ve seen homes sell quickly that broke all the rules (poorly staged, in disrepair) and others that lagged when all logic indicated they should sell quickly.
We will advise you on the things you can do to point out your home’s selling factors and to make your home as appealing as we can, and also point out the factors that may deter a buyer and do what we can to mitigate those factors.
What is a good price for my home?
Pricing a home to sell is important to ensure both the seller and the buyer are happy with the outcome. There are online sources declaring what a home is worth, but these don’t include all the factors like a newly finished basement or a lack of curb appeal. The best indicator of value is the price at which other nearby homes have recently sold. Then, consider what other similar homes are currently available for sale and the relative pros and cons of your home.
Setting the price too high steals the thunder of the first week on the market and prevents potential buyers who limit their search to a lower price from seeing the home. After the first week or two on the market, the excitement of a newly available home loses its appeal and limits the number of potential buyers who only pay attention to new listings.
My neighbor’s house sold in one day with three offers all over the asking price. Is that normal?
There are times when market conditions for home sales support multiple offers above the asking price. When the number of buyers exceeds the supply of homes, along with an encouraging outlook for the future, homes that are priced well and in highly desired locations often see a frenzy of showings and offers. A growing population that outpaces the number of new homes constructed may also contribute to a market with more buyers than sellers. However, in the longer term there is typically a small likelihood for multiple offers. If a seller chooses to price the home below the market rate, it is possible to increase the likelihood of multiple offers, but this is not always predictable. In that case, the seller could end up with a final offer lower than desired.
Nesting Rock Properties works with all of its clients to determine a starting price that is both comfortable for the seller and appropriate for the home and market. Dennis is always open to discussing new options for pricing as they arise.
How do I know if this is the right time for me to purchase a home?
We hear this type of concern and understand that purchasing a home is a major financial commitment. For most people, a home is the most expensive item they will ever buy. You may remember when the housing market adjusted downward, in 2007-2008.
At Nesting Rock Properties we won’t minimize the concern of a downward market, but we will point out the cost of the alternative and help individuals make the best decision for their unique circumstances. Renting a house or apartment owned by someone else is putting money into their pocket or helping them pay off their mortgage and build their equity. Renting a house or apartment is effectively living temporarily in a property with little control over the rent rate or the duration of the lease. Purchasing a home, however, has several advantages in terms of taxes, equity and a sense of ownership. So, in addition to the value of a home almost always going up, there are additional financial reasons to purchasing a home that help put money into your own pocket instead of someone else’s.
However, there are times when it’s not a wise decision for an individual to buy. While we won’t stop you if that’s your goal, we will provide the information you need to evaluate the decision to buy wisely.
How much can I afford?
There are two ways to determine how much you can afford. One is the amount that a lender will permit you to borrow according to your income, savings, and other factors. The other is to consider how much you are willing to spend on a monthly basis for the loan plus the taxes and insurance. While some do not distinguish between the two, I encourage buyers, particularly first-time buyers, to seriously evaluate their income and expenses to ensure the monthly commitment for a mortgage is something they can be comfortable with.
One way to look at the question is to think about how much rent you could afford today. If your desired home payment significantly exceeds this amount, you may be looking beyond your means.
Nesting Rock Properties works to help its buyers make solid decisions they won’t regret in the future.
How much income do I need?
In order to determine the amount of income required to purchase a particular home, there are two calculations used by mortgage companies. The first is called the front ratio, and it compares the housing expense to your income. The calculation requires the housing expense to be 30% or less than your income. So, if a loan on a home included payments for principal, interest, taxes and insurance of $1,500 monthly, the monthly income requirement would be $5,000 (or $60,000 annual income before taxes and other withholding). The second calculation, called the back ratio, takes into account all debt payments. This includes the total housing expense plus the debt expense, including credit cards, car loans, etc. A common limit of 36% of income is typically used to determine the amount that may be safely spent on debt payments, which means our example of $5,000 monthly income has a limit of $1,800 going toward total debt payments. Ask a mortgage lender or mortgage broker to obtain the latest requirements for loan limits and other factors that may apply.
A prospective buyer will also need to take into account how much money he or she brings to the transaction. A significant down payment could change the loan amount to change the income requirements
While the question of what kind of income you need is best answered by a mortgage broker or bank, Nesting Rock Properties can help guide you toward the resources you need to decide whether this is the right decision for you today.