Whether you’re starting a family, moving for your job, getting ready to retire or embarking on a new chapter in your life, when your home no longer suits your current situation, it’s time to think about selling it. Although this can be a bit complicated, with the help of your agent, you can minimize the hassles, get the best possible price, and shorten the distance between “For Sale” and “Sold”.
Price it right
If you want to get the best possible price for your home and minimize the time it stays on market, you need to price it correctly from the beginning. Your agent can give you a clear picture of your particular market and can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA contains detailed information on comparable homes in your area, including square footage, date built, number of bedrooms, lot size and more. It lists pending sales and houses sold in your area in the past six months, along with their actual sale prices.
By comparing your home to similar homes in your neighborhood and reviewing their list prices and actual selling prices, your agent can help you arrive at a fact-based assessment of your home’s market price.
Prepping your house for sale
You want to make a positive first impression when you list your home for sale. Here are some tips on how to enhance your home’s best features:
Work on your curb appeal
Some great things to improve your home’s curbe appeal are to get rid of moss on your roof, power wash your front walk, porch, deck and patio. Clean up the garden and mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flowerbeds and add spots of color with container plants. Clean all the windows inside and out and repair them if they don’t open and close easily.
Refresh, repair and repaint
This goes for interiors and exteriors. If you see peeling paint, add a fresh coat. If it isn’t already, consider painting rooms a neutral shade of white or grey. It’s also a good idea to make necessary repairs as you don’t want to turn off a buyer with a dripping faucet, a broken doorbell, a clogged downspout or a cracked windowpane.
Deep-clean, from floor to ceiling
Clean rugs, drapes and blinds, and steam-clean carpeting. Get rid of any stains or odors. Make sure kitchen appliances, cupboards and counters are spotless and that bathrooms shine.
Declutter and depersonalize
Clean, light-filled, expansive rooms sell houses. So be sure to downsize clutter everywhere in your home, including cupboards, closets and counters. You might also consider storing some furniture or personal items to make rooms look more spacious. Take advantage of views and natural light by keeping drapes and blinds open.
Show your house
After you’ve taken care of all the repairs and cleaning tasks outlined above, your home is ready for its close-up: an open house. It’s actually best for you and your family to leave when potential buyers are present so they can ask your agent questions. But before you go, you might want to:
· Take your pets with you
· Open the shades and turn on the lights
· Light a fire in the gas fireplace
· Bake cookies or use candles and plug-in’s
· Keep money, valuables and prescription drugs out of sight
Be flexible in negotiating
If you get offers below your asking price, there are a number of strategies you can try in your counteroffer. You could ask for full price and throw in major appliances that were not originally included in the asking price, offer to pay some of the buyer’s fees, or pay for the inspection. You could also counter with a lower price and not include the appliances. If you receive multiple offers, you can simply make a full-price counter.
Your agent can suggest other strategies as well and help you negotiate the final price.
If your house doesn’t sell or you’ve received only lowball offers, ask your agent to find out what these prospective buyers are saying about your house. It might reveal something you can consider changing to make your house more appealing in the future or switch up the marketing strategy a bit to better manage expectations.
Breeze through your inspection
When a buyer makes an offer on your home, it’s usually contingent on a professional inspection. A standard inspection includes heating and cooling, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector will be looking for cracks in cement walls, water stains and wood rot.
You can always opt for having an inspection done prior to putting your house on the market, so you can address any potential problems in advance. Your agent can give you several recommendations for qualified inspectors in your area.
Close with confidence
Whether this is your first time or your tenth, your agent can help guide you though the complex process of selling a home. Moreover, he or she can answer any questions you may have about legal documents, settlement costs and the status of your sale.
Your agent’s expertise, resources and extensive network also work for you when you’re buying your next house. Even if you’re moving out of the area, your agent can refer you to a professional agent in your new community.
Here’s a stat that may shock you.
Even in this hot market, all up and down the Front Range, one out of five homes for sale have been sitting on the market for more than 100 days.
When other homes are under contract within days or even hours, 20% sit on the market waiting for a buyer.
Why are these houses not selling? What’s wrong with them?
Perhaps the answer is obvious: the roof is in disrepair, the paint is peeling, weeds have overtaken the yard, a railroad track runs behind the home, the neighbor’s property looks like a junkyard – the list goes on as to the possibilities.
The important lesson for sellers is this- it is the dynamic of price relative to condition which generates offers.
If a buyer visits a home and they are (unpleasantly) surprised by the condition, they will not write an offer. Buyers conjure up a certain expectation of the home based on the marketing and the photography they see online. When the home does not live up to that expectation, the buyer will pass and move on to other options.
Sellers only have a small number of items within their control. Oftentimes the conditions which a buyer may not like cannot be changed by a seller (road noise for instance.)
The one condition a seller can control is price. The price of a home must be aligned with its condition, or the seller risks being one of the unlucky 20% of homes languishing on the market.
We have just completed a comprehensive report about this topic.
The Insider’s Guide to Selling Your Home (without any stress or surprises) is now available for you.
It is hot off the press and you can request a copy by emailing email@example.com or by calling (970) 460-3033.
With fall right around the corner many of us will be trekking up to Estes Park to see the Aspen leaves turning.
As you drive through Estes you may wonder “how’s the mountain market?”
Here are some fun facts about real estate in Estes Park.
- The average price today is $394,046 – not that different than Fort Collins.
- Average prices have gone up $60,000 in the last three years.
- Their market has about 300 sales per year- roughly a tenth of the amount in Fort Collins.
- If you were looking for a home in Estes between $300,000 and $500,000, you would have 15 to choose from.
Now you know about the Mountain Market!
After a very active (to say the least) spring and summer, the door has now opened for buyers in our market.
Buyers who were frustrated during the first half of the year with low inventory and bidding wars now realize a better environment. It’s time to step off the sidelines and take a fresh look at what the market has to offer.
The first piece of good news is that rates have dropped to near all-time lows. Rates today are 0.6% lower than they were on January 1st. What this means on a $400,000 home with a conventional loan is a monthly savings of $110!
The second piece of good news is that inventory levels are coming up. There are more homes on the market to pick from and lower demand because of seasonal slowing. Months of inventory in Larimer County markets have bounced up 20% to 33%.
August marks the end of the busy real estate selling season and the beginning of the traditional seasonal slowdown in our market.
The four months of April, May, June and July tend to produce 45% of the year's total sales. This is based on looking back at 5 years of data.
If 2016 holds true to form, the next five months from now until the end of the year will be progressively slower.
No surprise that December tends to be the slowest month with a third of the number of sales compared to a typical July.
Here's what we will be watching closely over the next few months – is this year's seasonal slowdown "normal", or, because the market has been so hot this year, is it breaking traditional trends.
We will be sure to keep you informed!
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple. There is a 1 to 2-month supply of homes across Northern Colorado. A balanced market would have 6 months.
Builders are faced with high land costs, high materials cost, high labor costs, high permitting costs and high water costs. It’s pretty much impossible, in most parts of our market, to deliver a new home under $400,000.
So, condominiums to the rescue right? Not so fast. Because of onerous construction defect laws, developers do not want to build multi-family, for sale product. It’s too risky. They’d rather build apartments.
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple.
This is really good news if you are a seller who wants to move up. This is especially good news if you are a seller of a condominium.
Contact us to find out what our under-supplied market has done to the value of your home. We’ll put together an Equity Snapshot which will show you, in detail, what your home is worth in today’s market. It’s valuable information to have whether you are thinking of selling or not. Just call 970-460-3033 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.