Tracy Alford

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Things to do in Southeast Aurora!

Posted On: July 1st, 2018 2:05PM

Things to do in Southeast Aurora!

Real estate in the Denver Metro area is booming!  One area that has become very popular is Southeast Aurora.  Here are a few amazing amenities you can take advantage of if you live in the area - in no particular order!

 

Southlands Mall 

Southlands is a regional shopping mall located in Aurora, Colorado. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Smoky Hill Road and the E-470 tollway.  Based on retail floor space, Southlands is the largest non-enclosed mall in the United States. It opened in 2005, featuring a unique design incorporating a "Main Street" of shops and smaller eateries, surrounded by larger stores near the perimeter of the center.  The mall features and eat-in movie theater, countless popular restaurants, it hosts a farmer’s market in the summer as well as concerts and community events throughout the year. Don’t miss the annual Christmas tree lighting on Main Street and pictures with Santa each December!

 

Aurora Reservoir

Aurora’s best kept secret - that’s not so secret anymore!  Located just east of the Quincy road and Gun club road intersection, the reservoir features a swim beach open seasonally, boat dock, 8.5 mile jogging/biking trail, designated SCUBA diving beach/area in water, and many opportunities for fishermen.  The reservoir also hosts a number of community events throughout the year including triathalons, sailing camps, and other local functions.   

 

Plains Conservation Center

Take a trip back in time to Colorado’s high plains and pioneer life in the mid-1800s. The Plains Conservation Center is a true-to-life homestead stretching across 1,100 acres of dedicated open space located at 21901 E Hampden Ave. Visit the nature center to pick up a map before you head out on the trails and learn the history of the site. Visitors can hike along rolling trails and may see rattle snakes, prairie dogs, pronghorn, coyotes and red-tailed hawks. Those who are especially lucky may catch a glimpse of the resident bald eagle family.  The Plains Conservation Center is also home to a variety of farm animals including donkeys, sheep, chickens and turkeys. In addition, you can choose to enjoy a prairie wagon tour or the cultural history tour, for a small fee.  

 

Great Plains Park

Located at 20100 E. Jewell Ave, Great Plains Park features an outdoor water spray-ground, as well as a playground, picnic shelters with tables, softball diamond, sports field, half court basketball court, fitness stations, and walking paths. A concrete trail connects the park to the Powerline Trail and the Conservatory West Trail.  A GREAT, fun place to stay cool in the summer!

 

Movie Tavern

Located on the northeast corner of Hampden and Tower roads, Movie Tavern is a Southeast Aurora favorite!  The Tavern features comfy leather recliners and serves your meal at your theater seat, while you enjoy your movie!   They offer a variety of menu items, appetizers, desserts and adult beverages - reasonably priced.  Movie tickets are also less expensive then most of its bigger competitors (AMC and Regal).  A fun experience for the whole family! 

 

Grandview Dog Park 

A visit to the Grandview Dog Park is a special treat for everyone, not just your dog. With more than five acres to run and play, taking your best friend along for fresh air and exercise is a joy. Grandview Dog Park is located next to Quincy Reservoir at 17500 E. Quincy Ave. The dog park is open dawn to dusk.

Features

•Drinking water for dogs (seasonally)

•Separate small dog area

•Bag stations and trash collection cans

•Entry and exit gates

 

Blackstone Country Club

The championship golf course at Blackstone Country Club boasts 7,313 yards of breathtaking play framed by the distinguished Rocky Mountains to the West. An impressive structure of 35,000 square-feet, the Clubhouse at Blackstone Country Club provides its Members a social gathering place for family and friends. The English Tudor inspired building is home to an elegantly-styled restaurant, The Coventry, pro shop and locker rooms, as well as banquet and meeting facilities. At Blackstone, Members will experience a new standard of exceptional club design and attentive personal service as they enjoy tennis, swimming, dining, working out and an abundance of Member activities.

 

Of course these are just a few highlights - being on the edge of the metro area comes with a lot of perks - the views from certain points can be amazing - especially at sunset!  The area is included in the award winning Chery Creek School District, the traffic isn’t as busy - most of the time… and the neighbors are pretty great!  

 

If you have a suggestion for my next highlighted city, or for any blog post,  please add a comment below!

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A Discount Broker Cost Me over $13,000!

Posted On: May 11th, 2018 9:32PM

WAIT - what?!!!

 

Discount brokers are supposed to SAVE you money!  Well, that’s what they tell you anyway.  I get the discount broker thing - but you always get what you pay for, and here’s a great example:

 

I listed a home in the Saddle Rock Highlands Neighborhood (Hampden & Picadilly) at the beginning of March.  About a week earlier, a home not even a block up the street, was listed by a discount broker.  They listed at $424,900.  I knew right away that was too low… when I met with my seller, we discussed the list price, and agreed the home should be listed (and would appraise) at $440,000.  So that is what we did.  

 

The other home had a finished walk out basement, ours had a finished 3/4 bath in the basement, but nothing else finished, and not a walk out.  Other than that, finishes were similar, no luxurious upgrades or anything else that would make one better than the other.

 

Fast forward 30 (ish) days - their listing closed at $427,706 while ours closed (and had no problem appraising) for $441,000!  That’s over a $13,000 difference!

 

A discount broker will tell you they will save you money - and they might.  But chances are they will cost you more.  They will cost you precious time, expecting you to do things like deliver your earnest money check to the title company, when a full-service Realtor will do that for you.  They will cost you buyers - because they aren’t going to spend any extra time (and definitely not money) marketing your property.  They will cost you money - because when they say you pay a flat fee for commission, they are referring to only the listing agent commission.  In Colorado, the seller pays the brokerage commissions (buyer’s and seller’s agents), and your buyer’s agent will want to get paid! They will discount their listing fee - but they will also give you exactly what you pay for - limited service, no support, and low listing prices so it requires less work on their part. 

 

I feel so bad for this seller - yes they would’ve paid more to have a full service Realtor represent their every need and have their back - but it would not have been $13,000!  And it would’ve been well worth it. 

 

If you are thinking of selling your home - possibly the BIGGEST transaction you will ever be a part of - please, don’t be cheap - consider hiring a full service Realtor (I am available!) to represent your best interest and get you top dollar for your home! 

 

The Denver market is AMAZING right now, and you need someone on your side who understands what is going on!!

 

Call, text, email or wave me down!!!   It would be my honor to help you make the right move!!!

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The Great Commission Question!

Posted On: April 14th, 2018 3:57AM

I wanted to write about it just to put it out there - it’s a common conversation, and an important one:  what do I do to earn my commission?  Why not hire a discount broker who promises to sell for a lesser rate?  Why shouldn’t you sell without an agent?  Well - first of all, would you rather have a lawyer in court or represent yourself?  Same idea!  Secondly, Selling your home is a lot of work - and I’ve done it many times!  I know the process inside and out - I know what is normal, what is not good, what you should do and what you should not do.

 

As a Realtor, my job is to help people buy and sell real estate.  My goal is to make your real estate transaction flow smoothly through each step of the process, making my job seem easy.  But, in truth, the process is very detailed, and a lot of what I do for my clients happens behind the scenes.  A day in the life of a Realtor can be very complicated - just ask my husband and kids! 

 

Being a full-time Realtor who’s goal is to go above and beyond your expectations requires lots of energy, time management and efficiency, as well as strategic partnerships with other professionals who can help the process progress in your best interest.

 

Here is a good start at a list of responsibilities I take on as your Realtor (not in this order!):

 

  • Schedule Showings
  • Schedule Listing Appointments
  • Maintain Required Continuing Education
  • Deliver Earnest Money On Time
  • Coordinate Property Inspections
  • Keep Up With Lender Progress
  • Verify Buyer’s New Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Coordinate Home Warranty Company
  • Negotiate Counteroffers
  • Schedule Closings
  • Attend Closings
  • Get All Disclosures Delivered & Signed
  • Monitor Dates and Deadlines
  • Provide Educational Materials to Consumers
  • Keep Your Blog Active
  • Maintain Active Social Media Profiles
  • Answer the Phone ALL DAY & NIGHT
  • Return Missed Phone Calls
  • Return Emails ASAP
  • Follow Up With Website Inquiries
  • Keep Up With Changing Laws
  • Run Comparables for Buyers & Sellers
  • Determine Accurate Pricing
  • Help Stage & Present Properties
  • Meet the Appraiser at Property
  • Meet the Inspector(s) at Property
  • Show 100’s-1,000’s of Homes Each Year
  • Get Signed Contract to Title Company
  • Negotiate Repairs
  • Keep Clients Updated With Each Step
  • Provide Comps for the Appraiser
  • Coordinate Closing
  • Review Settlement Statement for Errors
  • Make Sure There is a Clear Title
  • Explain the Contract to Clients
  • Provide Advice on Offer Price
  • Explain The Current Real Estate Market
  • Explain Pros & Cons of Each Neighborhood
  • Verify Completion of Repairs
  • Make Sure The Loan Funds
  • Schedule & Attend the Walkthrough
  • Negotiate Appraisal Issues
  • Verify Delivery of Title Commitment
  • Remind Clients to Schedule Utilities
  • Manage Your Online Reputation
  • Compete with 1,000’s of Agents for Business
  • Deal With Vendors
  • Keep MLS Listing Data Current
  • Attend Real Estate Conferences
  • Network with Local Home Builders
  • Coordinate Open Houses
  • Check Up On Past Clients

 

 

In addition to those repsonsibilites, being a Realtor is expensive!  People seem to think Realtors make the “big bucks”.  I would bet you didn’t know that the average Realtor makes around $50,000 a year, after expenses and taxes.  The amount that you see on your settlement statement is not my take home pay - a lot of that goes to maintaining my business and keeping my license current and active. 

 

Some common fees are:

  • Brokerage Splits/ Fees
  • MLS Fees
  • Realtor Board Fees
  • E&O Business Insurance
  • Extended Auto Insurance
  • Self-Empoyment Tax
  • State Licensing Fees
  • Electronic Contract Software Access
  • Showing Service Fees
  • Website Fees
  • Marketing Materials
  • Yard Signs & Riders
  • Photographers
  • Office Supplies
  • Business Cards
  • Property Flyers/Postcards
  • Lockboxes
  • Continued Education

 

It is a fact that only 20% of agents last more than a year in the business.  It’s not easy - you have to love it to stay in it.  Loving it means serving your clients and being able to help them navigate the biggest purchase of their lives with joy. 

 

Realtors get a bad rap - we are looked at as being paid more than we’re worth and trying to squeeze every penny out of people.  That may be true of some - but for most agents, we are professional, trustworthy individuals who are honored to be chosen to represent you.  We don’t take it lightly, and we give you all we have to offer and then some.  We work long hours for months on end for clients with no guarantee of a paycheck. Of course we are human, just like you!  But, when you consider these things, I think you’ll agree that hiring me as your Realtor is a very smart choice!

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I would love to sell my home - but then what?!

Posted On: February 26th, 2018 4:56PM

Selling a home in Denver right now is a piece of cake - and very financially beneficial!  But then what?  Buying a home in Denver is not as easy!  

 

I have the knowledge and experience to accomplish this challenging task for you.  It isn’t easy - that’s exactly why you need a Realtor who understands the process - and it is a process! - one who is focused on representing you and your best interests, and won’t be swayed by the crazy competition in Denver right now. 

 

There is so much to consider, from preparing your home to list and getting  pictures taken, navigating open houses and showings, negotiating offers and selecting the best one, then organizing the timing of your closings and your actual move - packing boxes, finding a moving company, exchanging keys, where is my mailbox?! - - - Having the knowledge, experience, professionalism and service of a Realtor like me to handle all these details for you is PRICELESS!  

 

It would be my honor to help you successfully sell and buy a home in Denver in today’s market - contact me today and let’s make a plan together!

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“Are you one of those pushy Realtors?”

Posted On: February 21st, 2018 10:41PM

“Are you one of those pushy Realtors?”  Surprised

 

Someone asked me this not too long ago.  I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks.  I understand that salespeople (including realtors) have a bad reputation for not considering their client’s best interest.  I know it is assumed that all “we” care about is the money.  

 

I’m here to say - that is NOT how I grow my business. 

 

I want you to tell your neighbors, your family and friends, your kids’ sports team about me!  I want to earn your trust and be that realtor that stands out from all of the rest.  My goal is to accomplish what is best for you, and my past (and repeat) clients can attest to that!  I sincerely enjoy my job - I get to help people navigate the biggest purchase of their lives!  

 

I can see how it may seem that I am being pushy.  But of course, that is not my intention - I am passionate about my job -  I know what it takes to get from point A to point B successfully in this industry.  I have the tools, skills, experience and knowledge to use on your behalf - and it is an honor to be trusted to see you through your real estate journey. Together, we can create a plan that will work for you and your family.

 

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Denver Metro Area, I would love the opportunity to work with - and for - you!  and I promise: I will do my best not to be too pushy!! 

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