FAQ’s about Durango

How do I choose a mortgage lender?

The lender is one of the most important parts of your transaction right after your choice of the right Realtor (the Durango Home Team Real Estate Professionals). Experience is a must. There is also a certain amount of creativity needed. There is basic knowledge required but since every transaction is different it takes the ability to be flexible. Having someone who can communicate will preserve your sanity. Be sure that the lender you chose listens to you and your concerns. The market is extremely odd right now. We recently had a client who was putting $200k down on a $400k house and the mortgage lender couldn't make it work because he wasn't creative enough. The client had chosen to work with the company who held his current mortgage. Six weeks later the lender still had not performed. The lender also would not communicate anyone in the transaction, and the result was the buyer lost the house of his dreams. He did ultimately get a different home but with owner financing just to get moving and then refinance in a few months. We bring this up just to illustrate how tight the lending practices are. This is another time when it is good to ask friends and you agent for referrals. Interview the lender and see how comfortable you feel with their answers. Also see how quickly they return your calls. If they are too busy to call you back in the beginning, it will only get worse. There is nothing more beautiful than the phrase" you are clear to close." A little extra research in the beginning can get you to that goal with less frustration.

Who pays your fee?

A Real Estate agent can be paid a fee for services by either the buyer or the seller. It is determined by your Broker representation form and. Most folks here in Colorado are generally served by "Transaction Brokers" which means that all the brokers facilitate the transaction and don't "represent" either the buyer or seller. In many cases the seller pays the fees of both the listing and selling agents. If you want to assure that your agent is working only for you it may be that you will want to work out an agreement where you agree to pay the agent yourself and enter into a Buyer Representation Agreement. It is very important that everyone involved with the transaction knows who is paying the fees. Communication is always key to a happy successful transaction.

So…. How are you different from all the other agents in the area?

Just as every person has unique characteristics and skills, Realtors vary. Some are very serious. Some are lots of fun. Some are detailed and some are not. Many agents have spent a lot of time and money getting extra education. This results in their earning "designations." Some agents specialize in certain areas. Others will work anywhere and learn the area you are interested in. In some cases agents will tuck you under their wings and guide you every step of the way. Ralph and I have 58 years of combined experience listing and selling. We have made many lifelong friends out of people who started as clients. Our goal in every transaction is to make the people we serve feel totally comfortable with the process as we open doors and dreams. We also work together on each transaction. Teamwork 24/7 !

How Effective are “Open Houses” ?

In our combined 58 years in Real estate, we have sold one house because of an open house. They have numerous questionable aspects. The most important part of holding a house open is being sure that the prospects are qualified to buy. There may be nothing wrong with letting the general public flow freely through properties. Then again with the economy we presently have, it feels sort of creepy to have no control over who comes in. Many years ago, open houses were considered a good marketing tool. Now with the Internet and web sites, there are lots more effective ways to get the word out about listings. Since agents can put together videos with the technology available, we suggest that open houses only be used in extreme situations.

How far in advance of my anticipated move should I start to look at homes with a Realtor?

Properties that are in good condition and well priced do not usually stay on the market long. If you need to give notice on your present residence, it would be a good idea to plan for about six weeks. You can see a lot within a couple if weeks, negotiate your offer and get your loan approved in that amount of time. Looking too far in advance is essentially a waste of time. The house you fall in love with could well be sold before you can get all your ducks in a row. Every situation is different. Find an agent you would like to work with and share your needs. The agent can advise you about the best options available to you.

Why Should I work with one agent when there are so many?

Working with one agent means you get the advantage of one person focused on watching for the best house, financing etc... based upon the criteria you have provided. Working with several agents is counter productive to the max! You have to provide your information several times and since all of us have access to the same information, it really does not make sense. It would be Iike plowing the ground and then hiring someone else to redo it. Lots of labor intensive work for the same result. One agent can do the job well! Check with your friends to see if they recommend the agent they have used. Find someone who returns your calls quickly and who you feel comfortable talking to. Experience counts too when considering who you will entrust this treasure hunt to!

Why is Durango a great place to live?

Durango is fantastic!  Exquisite scenery, continuous activities year round, everything you would find in a big crowded city;  from state of the art Medical Facilities, great restaurants, the San Juan Symphony, and shopping for just about anything you need.  It's conveniently located on major highways and we have a great little airport connecting you to the world all while Durango maintains it's small town atmosphere.  Low crime, light traffic and did I mention a laid back but cultured lifestyle!!