We are pleased to welcome Sharon Sikkema as the Office Coordinator/Closing Specialist of the Katie K Team. Sharon brings 30 years of a diverse business experience to assist you with your real estate needs. Her background includes 16 plus years of experience working in the national sales and marketing practices of two Fortune 500 companies. Sharon’s uncompromising commitment to honesty and integrity, her unique ability to work with people, and her dedication to personal client service, have given her the reputation of being a true professional. After retiring from corporate America, Sharon ventured into real estate in 2007. In March of 2009, Sharon became the newest member of the Katie K Team.
Keller Williams Realty recently announced awards for Gross Commission Income for 2008. The Katie K Team is pleased to announce that Katie received the Top Producing Agent Award for the Michigan/Northern Ohio region in 2008. During very challenging times in real estate, Katie has remained determined, positive and motivational to her team. We strive to continue our high level of service in 2009 and have another positive year. Our success is your success!
In addition to the great success Katie has been able to achieve, she is in good company here at Keller Williams. Out of 650 national Keller Williams’ offices, the Grand Rapids office ranked in the top 50 for productivity. Out of 29 Keller Williams offices in the Michigan/Northern Ohio region, Keller Williams Grand Rapids ranked in the number one spot and was named the Top Office the region. Congrats to all of Keller Williams.
Despite everything in the local and national news discussing the current poor state of the nation’s economy, Downtown Grand Rapids is experience record growth. This growth is due to unprecedented investments in health care facilities. According the Grand Rapids Press, there are more than $770 million dollars in ongoing construction projects downtown. An estimated $128 million of these projects are already in development, the rest are waiting to see what the economy does before proceeding.
In addition to health care related construction, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Galleries, hotel space and several renovation projects are all in some stage of development.
What does all this development mean for Grand Rapids Real Estate? Typically, new development leads to new jobs; new jobs require people to fill them. People who are relocating to the area for these jobs in turn need housing. Growth is good!
For the complete story and a map of the downtown area construction, please follow this link to MLive and the Grand Rapids Press:
We have been made aware of a glitch in website that affects Mac Users. When viewing our listings page on a Mac computer using the Safari browser, you may receive a message indicating that you must use the Firefox browser. On the same Mac computer, when viewing in Firefox you should be able to view the listings.
If you are continuing to experience problems after downloading and installing the Firefox browser, the information on your machine may be “cached”. You may need to clear the
cache or possibly reboot the computer to be truly going to the site fresh through Firefox.
What is the cache? It is a Temporary Internet folder in your Internet browser that contains a collection of images, sounds, and web pages.
These are sites you have visited in the past or items you have downloaded. This temporary file is commonly known as the cache. Storing these items on your temporary Internet folder can make browsing the Internet faster. However these files take up space on your computer. From time to time you may want to clear your cache to free up space on your computer. Here is a guide on how to clear your cache:
- From the Internet Explorer 6 “Tools” menu, click “Internet Options.” The “Internet Options” box should open to the “General” tab.
- On the “General” tab, go to the “Temporary Internet Files” section; click the “Delete Files” button. This will delete all the files that are currently stored in your cache.
- If you are using “Firefox” as your browser take the following steps to clear your cache. Click “Tools” and select “Options.” Click the “Advanced” icon and click the “Network” tab.
- Click “Clear Now” under the “Cache” section. Click “OK.” Exit and re-launch the browser.
If you are still experiences difficulty, it may be a compatibility issue with Firefox and the program used within our website. Please download the latest version of Firefox, 3.0.6 and check that the preferences are changed to the following settings:
- Click the Firefox menu and choose Preferences
- Select the Privacy option
- Ensure that “Accept cookies from sites” and “Accept third-party cookies” are both checked
We apologize for this inconvenience and want you to know the problem is being looked into and should be resolved in the near future.
If you are considering selling your home, naturally one of your first questions is “what is my home worth”? Today the internet is filled with real estate sites that provide you with estimates of your home’s value. I emphasize ‘estimates’. Sites such as Zillow.com, Cyberhomes.com, HomeGains.com, and HouseFront.com are excellent for searching for property, but not the most accurate in terms of determining value. The values provided are based on a variety of sources. Most use some form of sale, mortgage, ownership records and public data in the area to determine value, yet some others request that you complete a form and submit it for evaluation from a professional who may or may not be familiar with your area.
Most sites clearly state their value is an estimate only—never an actual appraisal—and advises visitors to contact a professional appraiser or real estate professional for accurate pricing information. We encourage you to do the same. Please contact our office if we can answer any questions or be of any help in your decision to sell your home.
Thursday, November 7, members of Keller Williams went on a shopping trip to purchase donations for God’s Kitchen in Grand Rapids. Katie and a handful of fellow Keller Williams’s agents contributed a grand total of $2060.07, had a great time and further exhibited the generous Keller Williams spirit!
According to Realtor.com, the use of internet advertizing to successfully market a home is becoming increasing more crucial. In 1997, 2% of buyers located the home they would purchase on the internet and 8% located their home through print ads. As of 2007, the number of homes located on the internet rose to a significant amount to 29% and print fell to 3%.
Recognizing this trend in the market, we utilize several websites and a virtual tour for each house listed. Our goal is to expose a home to as many potential buyers as possible. We realize that not everyone is an internet user and print advertising is still important to capture the attention of this smaller audience. The Katie Karczewski team is dedicated to growing and changing with the trends of the Market.
Katie has been a long time supporter of East Grand Rapids Schools. On Friday, October 17, Katie will be speaking at halftime of the EGR football game about the March of Dimes organization. This organization helps prevent premature babies and provides medical care to babies that are born too early. The March of Dimes will be holding their Signature Chefs Auction on November 10, 2008, as a fundraiser. Please come to the game this Friday to support not only the team, but babies that are born too soon in west Michigan and communities across the nation.
For more information about The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction or to Donate, please click on this link:
According to a September 2008 article by SmartMoney.Com, there are 5 simple ways to boost your homes value with little cost to you.
- Paint: A fresh coat of paint helps to “erase” any wear and tear that has occurred in high traffic areas. A neutral color may also help a new buyer picture themselves in that living space.
- Basic Maintenance: Look around for anything broken, leaking, missing or generally unfinished. These things may seem small to you, but to a new buyer it is just one more thing to do!
- Energy-Efficiency Upgrades: Rising energy costs and earth-friendly trends make the installation of energy efficient windows, heating systems or appliance enticing to buyers. In certain cases, you may also be able to receive and tax credit for these upgrades.
- Install New Fixtures: Installing new light fixtures or drawer knobs is another inexpensive way to give your home a fresh, updated, polished look.
- Landscaping: First impressions count! Curb appeal is the first step to getting a buyer to come in your home. Simply tidying up existing andscaping or adding some new may be the difference between getting the call for a showing, or a car that just drives by.
To read the complete article, please follow this link:
According to a recent national survey, Keller Williams Realty has received the highest overall satisfaction ratings from home buyers among all the largest, full-service real estate firms in the country! As reported on the Inman News Website in late August, the study measures home buyers’ customer satisfaction. To read this article from Inman, follow this link: www.inman.com/news/2008/08/27/study-sets-benchmarks-customer-service.
The results were determined in three categories, including satisfaction with their agent, office and services provided. Keller Williams Realty topped all three areas, therefore receiving the highest score in overall satisfaction.
Knowing that this study was conducted during one of the toughest real estate markets we have ever seen shows that your spirit and dedication are truly making the difference with your clients.
Information provided by Mark Willis and Mary Tennant of Keller Williams International, 2008