June 1, 2015

What's Happening in the Cedar Rapids Market?

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I have a lot of people asking me right now whether we're situated in a buyer's market or a seller's market. Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn't so simple. It really depends on what price point you're looking in and also whether you're trying to move up.


There are segments of our market with over 1,900 homes for sale, and there are also parts of our market with little to no inventory. Homes in the $100K-$300K ranges are hard to find and they're also selling very quickly. Some homes are lasting less than a week on the market, so if you're selling and your home is in good condition, you have a really good chance to have a profitable sale. 


My rule of thumb is that if you're thinking about selling, you should be on the market 120 days before you actually planned to be on the market. This is especially true when the market is moving quickly like the one we're seeing right now. However, this also allows us to position you for success. We will consult with you and speak about how to make your home market-ready so that you can get top dollar.


Overall, we're seeing less inventory in Cedar Rapids than we usually do. We're seeing at least 200-300 less homes on the market this year than we saw last year, so if you are looking to buy a home, then you absolutely need to go out and get pre-approved for a loan. Trust me, you won't stand a chance against other qualified buyers if you don't have a loan approval with you.


Hopefully this information is useful to you when you are buying or selling in the future. Please reach out to us if you need help - we're always happy to assist you!


Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 17, 2014

Matt Smith Team is hiring!

Real Estate Assistant Duties:

2 years real estate experience and active real estate license required.

1.  Listing Manager (Listing to Contract)

  • Oversee all aspects of sellers transactions from initial contact to executed purchase agreement.
  • Prepare all listing materials: pre-listing presentation, Listing Agreement, sellers’ disclosures, comparative market analysis, pull online property profile, research old multiple listing service (MLS) listings and etc.
  • Consult & coordinate with sellers all property photos, staging, repairs, cleaning, signage, lockbox, access requirements & marketing activities.
  • Obtain all necessary signatures on listing agreement, disclosures and other necessary documentation.
  • Coordinate showings & obtain feedback.
  • Provide proactive weekly feedback to sellers regarding all showings and marketing activities.
  • Coordinate all public open houses and broker open houses.
  • Input all listing information into MLS and marketing websites and update as needed.
  • Submit all necessary documentation to office broker for file compliance.
  • Input all necessary information into client database and transaction management systems.

2.  Transaction Coordinator (Contract to Closing)

  • Oversee all aspects of buyer & seller transactions from executed purchase agreement to closing.
  • Coordinate title/escrow, mortgage loan and appraisal processes.
  • Coordinate inspections, assist in negotiations regarding repairs, and coordinate completion of repairs.
  • Regularly update & maintain communication with clients, agents, title officer, lender etc.
  • Submit all necessary documentation to office broker for file compliance.
  • Coordinate moving/possession schedules.
  • Schedule, coordinate & attend closing process.
  • Input all client information into client database system.
  • Schedule 30 Day, 90 Day & 120 Day client customer service follow up calls to assist with any home improvement provider recommendations and to ask for referrals.

3.  Marketing Director

  • Manage client database management program & system.
  • Create & regularly prepare all buyer & seller consultation packages.
  • Coordinate the preparation of all listing & open house flyers, graphics, signage and all other marketing materials.
  • Manage & update agent website(s), blog(s) and online listings.
  • Regularly assist agent to manage & enhance agent’s social media presence.
  • Track & coordinate all inbound leads from websites, social media & other online sources.
  • Coordinate all client & vendor appreciation events.
  • Regularly obtain client testimonials for websites, social media & other marketing materials.
  • Coordinate & implement agent marketing videos & property videos on website(s), blog(s), social media and client database email campaigns.

4.  Administrative Manager

  • Oversee all aspects of the administration of the agent’s business.
  • Create & manage all systems for sellers, buyers, client database management, lead generation tracking, lead follow-up & all office administration.
  • Maintain all agent financial systems, profit & loss statement, bill payment, budget(s), bank accounts, and business credit card(s).
  • Coordinate the purchasing of any office equipment, marketing materials and any other business related supplies and materials.
  • Create & update a business operations manual and all job descriptions/employment contracts for any future hires.
  • Manage the recruiting, hiring, training and ongoing leadership of all future administrative hires.
  • Hold agent(s) accountable for conducting all agreed upon lead generation activities.
  • Ensure that all agent activities are limited to listing property, showing property, negotiating contracts & lead generation.

Please send cover letter and resume to:


The Matt Smith Team is Hiring! Seeks Dynamic, Career Minded Full Time Buyer Specialist.

The Matt Smith Team – Is seeking a Dynamic, High-Energy and Career minded, full-time buyer specialist to join our team.

Are you a highly motivated and dedicated person who is looking for an excellent long-term opportunity in the real estate industry?

Our Remax team located in Cedar Rapids, IA is the solution for you! Our team provides potential for advancement based on your performance.

Your training will be with Matt Smith, who is one of the top real estate coaches in the industry along with our exceptional marketing group.

You should have the following abilities and qualifications for this opportunity as a buyer specialist:

- Able to commit to 3 hours daily lead generation and follow up

- Speak well and have excellent follow-up phone skills

- Ability to demonstrate continued learning and self-improvement through education and accounting.

- Be a team player focused on the success of all through accountability for your work and the team.

- Commit to goals based on team, member and client needs.
- Have a current real estate license

- Demonstrate local knowledge of Linn and Johnson County Real Estate

- Have an impeccable reputation for integrity in the real estate community.

- Possess a deep passion for service and success.

- Be personable and comfortable networking and socializing with all different types of personalities.

- Previous sales and real estate agent success

We are seeking career minded buyer agents capable of committing to excellent communication and relationship skills. Our Buyer Agent position is NOT a part-time position, and you, as the right candidate, are willing and able to work nights and weekends.

Candidates are currently being interviewed for this position. If you feel our Buyer Agent position fits your career goals, you should send your resume along with three references along with your social media profile links toMattSmithRemax@gmail.com today!

Feb. 19, 2013


College Community Condo Just Listed!



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Rich Dad Talks about real estate

Watch live streaming video from richdadlivechat at livestream.com
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Credit Improvement Programs

June 22, 2012

Pocket up to $125,000 for incorrect foreclosure filing


June 20, 2012

10 Mistakes New Home Buyers Make

10 Mistakes New Homebuyers Make (via Credit.com)

With mortgage rates continually hitting new lows and many real estate forecasters predicting a housing bottom at the end of the year, many renters are getting the urge to buy. That leaves a housing market full of inexperienced, but interested buyers who need a little more help and guidance in navigating…

June 18, 2012

The ReMax Collection Cedar Rapids Real Estate

When you're looking for amazing marketing and representation.  Talk to the Matt Smith Team at Remax Associates.


May 18, 2012

3817 Riverside Dr. NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa


New Listing priced at $209,950

Posted in NE Properties
Feb. 28, 2012

Home repairs: Which jobs come first?

(MONEY Magazine) -- Lean times call for budgetary triage. But while you should clearly opt for orthodontics before Disneyland, the choice is tougher when it comes to home maintenance.

Should you get a paint job or a new furnace? "There's no homeowner's manual that tells you when to do what," says Naperville, Ill., home inspector and structural engineer Mark Waldman.

Emergencies aside, the project that could cause the most damage and expense if left unfixed is the priority. Below, the order in which to tackle your biggest repair needs.

1. Electrical system

Wiring problems claim the No. 1 spot for good reason: They can lead to fires and electrocution. "That trumps everything," says Waldman.

Danger signs: Circuit breakers that trip frequently, lights that dim when you turn on the vacuum or outlets that are loose, hot, or accept only two-prong plugs.

How to check: Spend $300 to $500 for a licensed electrician to open up your main panel to look for trouble and to tighten any loose connections. He'll also spot-check switches, outlets and light fixtures to ensure that the wiring is in safe working order.

Replacement cost: $4,000 to $10,000 to rewire the house.

Prolong its life: Flip every circuit breaker off and on again once a year to prevent corrosion. Add new circuits ($100 to $500 each) to take the heaviest electrical loads, like window air conditioners, off the old wires.

2. Basement

Structural problems downstairs mean shifting and cracking upstairs -- at the very least -- so there's little point in doing other repairs until you've fixed the building's foundation.

Danger signs: Bowed or split beams, rotted posts, piles of sawdust (evidence of wood-boring insects), tiny mud trails (indications of termites), or large cracks in the masonry foundation -- especially if the cracks are horizontal, which tends to indicate a bigger problem.

How to check: A contractor will usually take a look free of charge. If he recommends significant repairs, hire a home inspection engineer (find one at nabie.org) to investigate ($350 to $500).

Replacement cost: Major foundation work can cost $3,500 to $8,000; new posts or beams could run $1,200 to $2,500.

Prolong its life: Water is the cause of cracked concrete, rotten timbers and wood-eating pests. So keep your basement dry by making sure the landscape slopes away from the house and maintaining the next two items on the list: the roof and gutters.

3. Roof

Water leaking into your home from above can lead to a host of pricey problems: rot, insects, electrical shorts and mold.

Danger signs: Dampness or stains on ceilings; curling, missing, or broken shingles; smooth spots where the granules have worn away; green algae growth.

How to check: Have a roofer inspect your home. This is typically free, but the pro, of course, is looking for business. So check the company's reputation at angieslist.com ($5 a month).

Replacement cost: $5,000 to $15,000

Prolong its life: Prune tree limbs so they're at least 10 feet from the roof to keep squirrels away and to let moisture evaporate quickly after storms. If shingles blow off, replace them immediately, and repair small leaks promptly.

4. Gutters

Your gutters are just as important as the roof. The only reason they're lower on this list is that if you replace gutters first, they're likely to get damaged when you reroof later. So if you need a roof too, it's better to wait -- or do both projects at the same time.

Danger signs: Dented or disconnected gutters, pooled water around your home's foundation, or basement flooding near the downspouts.

How to check: Head outside during a rainstorm and watch the gutters in action, says Caitlin Corkins, stewardship manager for Historic New England, which maintains dozens of historic properties. "The best time to see clogs and overflows is when the system is working," she says.

Replacement cost: $1,500 to $3,000

Prolong its life: Hire a gutter company to clean, check, and repair your gutters ($100 to $200) at least once a year -- two or three times if you're in a wooded area. And have someone clear the eaves of deep snow to prevent icing, which can split open gutters or rip them right off the house.

5. Exterior walls

"People think paint is just a decorative element, so they let it go," says Robert Niemeyer, a Winston-Salem, N.C., handyman, contractor, and electrician. But without a weather-tight seal, water can infiltrate the siding, causing rot and attracting wood-damaging insects. Still, leaks from a vertical surface generally aren't as quick or lethal as ones from a roof and gutter.

Danger signs: Paint that's peeling, cracking or blistering

Replacement cost: $4,000 to $10,000; make sure the painters replace loose putty around the window glass and caulking gaps around molding.

Prolong its life: Hire a pro to do touchups every year. Trim foliage so it's at least a foot from the house, and kill any mildew growth with a bleach-and-water solution.

6. Aging equipment

An old heating or cooling system is costly to operate -- and the risk of a breakdown increases with age. But as long as your old furnace, boiler, or AC is operating safely, there's no rush to upgrade.

Danger signs: The system cycles on and off frequently to hold your thermostat setting; you spot corrosion on the vent pipe; the natural-gas flames are yellow or orange instead of pure blue.

How to check: Get a repair estimate: if it's more than a third of the replacement cost, spring for a new machine, says Indianapolis plumber Larry Howald.

Send The Help Desk your questions

Replacement cost: Typically $2,000 to $4,000 for a furnace (forced air); $4,000 to $8,000 for a boiler (hot water); $1,000 to $3,000 for a water heater; $6,000 to $10,000 for an air conditioner.

Prolong its life: Have your systems cleaned and tuned annually, including flushing the water heater to remove sludge, replacing all filters and lubricating any pumps.

MONEY magazine is researching an article on ways to reduce the financial pain of college. We're looking for families that can talk about new and creative ways that they're raising cash for college and cutting costs while they're there. Sound like you? Tell us your story and you might even get your picture in the magazine! E-mail Beth_Braverman@moneymail.com