Tag Archives: real estate

So, you have decided on selling your Denver home, Now What?


time to sell home

time to sell home!

Are you asking yourself, Am I ready to sell my house in Denver?

Last week we covered our Buyer focus in “Do you have what it Takes?”. We detailed and discussed the affordability issue in regards to buying a home in Denver. We also provided an affordability calculator to help you determine how much house you can afford based on income, debt and down payment. That edition is available in our October Blog archives. So how should you proceed if you are thinking about selling my Denver home?

This week we dive into a seller focus “So, it’s time to sell your home, Now what?”

Selling your home is an emotional process and one with serious legal and tax consequences. All of which should be considered along with the appropriate professional to guide you throughout the process. There are many things you can do in order to prepare yourself, your family and your home before you actually hit the open market.

Ten things to consider when selling your home:

  • Arm’s length transaction – Everyone knows a real estate professional like myself. I mean, we are everywhere. Do not hire your friends or family to sell your home. It’s an emotional and taxing process and friends and family are less likely to be honest with you on what steps you need to do in order to get your Denver home ready to sell and in market ready condition. There are some things only a professional who has put in the time, knows. This is a business transaction and needs to be dealt with from that perspective. If you cherish your friendship or family relationship, you’ll be better off if things get emotional or go sideways rather than having someone there that isn’t so closely attached to you and the home who can help you through the process from a professional standpoint. Hire your real estate professional early on. There are so many things we see on a day to day basis. The earlier you hire them, the faster they can help you get your house ready for market with tips and advice. If you contact me, I can help with the process of selling your home as well.

Aesthetics of the home

  • Curb Appeal – This is one of the best investments you can make and, you can most likely do this yourself. Clean up that yard! Set up some mulch or gravel  and add some potted plants at the entry. Prune away any dead or overgrown bushes that don’t flatter your lawn. Get some color out there with flowers and trees, and remove any clutter. The more appealing your home from the street view, the faster it sells.
  • Paint – I find that almost every listing I take benefits from at least an interior coat of paint. Neutral colors and white trim. It’s funny once you paint, it highlights all the other little defects you have become accustomed to. That loose door knob, that missing hardware, the scuffs and dents in the walls, etc.… it serves as a catalyst to get on to our next steps. The exterior usually doesn’t need a full painting, but trim and edges can usually use a touch up.
  • De-clutter – To help in selling your home, a great plan would be investing in having the home staged by a professional. If you are going to be living in the home while it’s being sold there are some other steps you’ll want to take before you sell your home. If you have pets, kids, or both do your best to remove any wear and tear in the home. We get accustomed to items out of place. We become “smell blind” to the natural scents of the pets and house. I guarantee you, these are all smells that buyers will pick up on. Too add to that, never put all your clutter into your garage. Your garage is one of the selling points of your home so if you need to rent a storage unit, it will be well worth the investment. I hear it all the time as the buyer’s step into the garage, “Oh, so this is why the house looks so nice” as they see no space in the garage and it’s filled to the brim with clutter. Don’t sabotage your garage, it will detract people from buying the home.
  • Clean from top to bottom – This seems like something you wouldn’t normally need to mention but I find the best thing to do is hire a professional to come in with a fresh set of eyes. Let them do a full cleaning of the home for you. You may still need to come behind after them for some personal items but you would be surprised what a fresh set of eyes can pick up on. This time, the buyer will be the fresh eyes and notice all the above mentioned so you should always go that extra mile.
  • Paperwork – This may seem like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people throw this stuff out as they are getting ready to sell a house in Denver. Manuals to the sprinkler system, the HVAC, any appliances you have, utility bills, etc. Gather all of that information in an easy to find place. Potential buyers may have questions about what work, if any has been done, is it warranted, and most importantly is said item transferred with the sale?

The emotional side of selling

  • Family Heirlooms – Get rid of them, out of sight out of mind. Anything that you do not want to go with the sale of the home; remove them before we ever show a potential buyer. That item becomes the most important aspect of your home. To that buyer, they just love that Chandelier and they want it included in their offer. Real estate law states that anything custom to the home or “Attached” must go with the sale, unless otherwise stated. Save yourself the hassle dan replace the items with something nice and practical with no sentimental value.
  • Garage or Yard sale – I’m not sure all realtors are like me but I love to sponsor yard sales.If you contact me, I will make signs, hit social media, and run advertisements. I will be there at the yard sale helping you with setup, letting neighbors know we are close to hitting the market. I will be planning the open house and letting neighbors know when we’ll be ready to show the home. Who knows, maybe somebody stopping by the yard sale is your buyer or is friends with someone who wants to move into the area.

Reaching the finish line

  • Time to hit the market – You have put thought into hiring a professional realtor to help you sell your home so let them do their job. During showings there is a temptation to be there with the buyers. You want to show them all the wonderful things you have done with the home over the years. I highly advise against this. Prospective home buyers are usually put off by this in my experience. Home sellers are too attached to the hard work that was put into the home. It was nice when they did the work but that was ten years ago and the buyer hardly will find it to their taste anyway. Have a plan in place to get yourself, your family and your pets out of the home for showings. There may be a suitable time during the transaction where the buyer and seller walk through together, but not while the buyer is making a decision to possibly offer on the home.
  • Plan for a marathon not a sprint– Be patient, I know it’s tough. At the end of it all you have cleaned, painted, fixed, de-cluttered, landscaping… geez I’m exhausted. You did all the hard work necessary to prepare your home for sale. Both mentally detaching from the home and physical labor were needed to get your home ready for market. Many people are out of steam by now and just want the home GONE. It takes time even with the most prepared homes. When they are priced right they tend to sell for the highest price in the least amount of time.

I hope you found this week’s Real Estate Hot Topics a fun read. Please check the archives for previous posts. Next week tune in for our topic ” Mortgage loans 101, whats right for me?”

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Do you have what it takes to be a first time homebuyer Denver?

Logo for Denver Home Market source for first time home buyers

Check out my site of available properties and Hot Topics on the Real Estate market of today. for previous and first time home buyers.

Last week we talked about Fall or Fall . As we find ourselves with higher inventory in recent months would the fall season equate to falling prices in housing here in Denver. The jury is still out on the prices and inventory and only time will tell. When we hit winter we will look back and see how it plays out. But for now. Let’s address this weeks Hot topic. “Do You Have What it takes?”. This is mostly for first time home buyers, but everyone can benefit from this advice.

I always get calls like this from Denver first time home buyers:

“Hey, I’m online now. I’m looking at the house listed at 1234 w 29th ave. Is it still available?” To which I respond, “Yes, it’s still available. No offers on the table as of yet .” The buyer then asks me “Great! Can we go take a look at it?” I said, “Sure, I’d love to set you up with an appointment. Let me call my seller and see if we can get into the home this afternoon. Would 6pm work if they can confirm?”. The buyer replies, “Yes, that will be great. Oh! Let me ask you a few questions before I let you go. Are you currently working with another broker?”

This is usually when I know it is a first time home buyer. I reply “No,” and I go on to ask “and who do you have your pre-approval with? The buyer gives me the bad news, “Oh, no we are not pre-approved yet, we have not called our bank, we are just looking saw this home, and it looks perfect but we are not ready to call our bank yet.” So, here is where we shall begin.

We are living in a fast paced world

Today’s Market moves fast! More so now than ever we as a society “want it now!”. In fact I get more views from my website on mobile devices rather than laptops. That goes for Facebook and Google analytics in addition to my website tracking. Sellers are no different. They want to sell their home. What they do NOT want to do is accept an offer from an unprepared buyer. They have spent time and money getting ready for the market. The last thing they want is to get into escrow and lose the buyer due to the buyer not having all their ducks in a row. The list price you offer is important, sure, but it’s not nearly as important as being prepared with being pre-approved (not pre-qualified).

Is there really a difference?

There is certainly a difference. Pre-approval, when done correctly, is when your lender has already obtained your financials and looked at your front and back end ratios. Per-qualifying is you simply had a 15 minute phone conversation (in most cases have not even provided documentation). It’s important you start with your lender. If you don’t have a lender you want to use, start with your Real Estate professional and ask for a referral. Different lenders have different parameters and programs depending on your situation.

Often before we become first time home buyers, the only other thing we have to compare such a huge purchase was when you bought your car. That was a much different tactic but, even car dealers have become more prepared. When you ask to test drive a car they get your license and check your credit ASAP. They want you to fall in love with the car however they can really care less if you can afford it. Get you in love with it, then they later get into financing it. However, that isn’t  how buying a home works or should work.

Preparing to buy a new home?

The very first step after deciding you want to buy a home is to get that pre-approval call done and get the letter confirming your loan. With the new lender guidelines, some lenders are actually running clients through more of the approval process to save time once you do get an accepted offer. With your pre-approval, you now have a good idea of what your payment will be, how much money you’ll need for down payment,  closing costs, and which home you can afford to buy.There are many more things first time home buyers can do before ever stepping foot into an open house or calling on a house you saw on the internet. However, this is the biggest mis-conception. Just because you contact a bank and go through the pre-approval process does not mean you are ready to go out and buy a home.

I have been there before!

Shoot, when I bought my last property in Denver. I went with a lender I had used in the past. This lender advised me two weeks into escrow that they were back-logged with appraisers. It would be impossible to get my home appraised before I was scheduled to close. The seller had other interested buyers and had already set themselves up to move out because they did not want to extend the contract. I had to switch to another lender and, thought it was tight, but we got it done on time. I do recommend though, if you are not sure who to use for a lender ask a few questions of your own before you decide on them to start the pre-approval process. Things like;

“How many days are escrows typically taking?”
“If I get an accepted offer, how quickly are appraisals being completed? Not just completed but completed and submitted.”

Lenders may come out to look at the home, but then take another 3-5 days to submit the findings. Ask about fees and rates but always keep in mind that these rates are tied to the market and can change multiple times a day. Use these rates and fees as a reference but at this stage, don’t get too hung up on these numbers. The day of the month you close, when taxes are due, the insurance policy you choose will all will change your payment and closing costs along with many other minor variables. I had property insurance quotes from 1,600 to 740.00 annually on the same property all with the same deductible. So, it’s smart to shop around.

Let me help you find a new home in Denver, Colorado

First time home buyers who want an in-depth look at what to plan for before making an offer give me a call at 720-688-5110. Go to the link below and scroll down to the Affordability Calculator on my website and it will give you a full report. For sellers looking for an evaluation of their home please fill out this form on my website.

Want to live in a specific Denver Neighborhood? Click here: http://www.denverhomesmarket.com

Next weeks Hot Topic “I’m thinking about selling my home, now what?”

Fall Real Estate? or Real Estate falls? Questions for buyers and sellers of properties.

Fall Real Estate Trends.

Graph showing median price vs total inventory of real estate market, Fall Real Estate trends

When inventory is low prices start to rise, Note the delay as inventories rise before prices finally come down.

Last week’s Hot Topic covered Denver first time buyers that are pondering “out saving” the Real Estate market by holding off and saving up for a down payment on that dream home. Another option is starting small and maximizing bank leverage and equity to build to the dream home. What works best for one may not work for others. This week late’s take a look at what happens during the time of the Fall real estate trend.

Refer to the chart above. As inventory drops, prices rise. So, Fall (or Fall?) inventories are up over the past few months.Yes Fall is in the air, the leaves are changing, and the morning weather is crisp. Simple supply and demand cycles quite in rhythm with the seasons, as does housing. We know there are buyers out there and the market has been tight. There are multi offers in short periods of time, and sellers have had the upper hand. For example what would happen if the house down the road sold for X a few months back, and then just on the other side of the road last month, a similar home sold for XX. I’m going to put my house on the market and I expect XXX after all I have a larger _____ or nicer _____. (you fill in the blanks)

The major questions.

The overriding question is, “is it seasonal?”. Is the inventory only up by the normal seasonal cycle or is Fall only part of the equation? We are in an election year, one of the the most unpredictable I have seen in my lifetime. Are we too far right? Are we too far left? Has there now been made enough space in the middle? The market has been on an upswing since the depths of the recession about 8 years ago. Markets have a predictability with a steady flow and even handedness.

So, as Fall weather comes our way, will prices of homes fall beyond the seasonal flow?  Will more Fall real estate flood the market than buyers flock to pick up a deal? Will we retain the important balance? Will the market entice enough buyers into the fray to absorb the influx? These are all only ideas to ponder. My advice would be to not short yourself. If you are a buyer or a seller the formula is the same. Keep the horizon view! Buy or sell not based solely on any one factor, but on what feels right for you and your future. Your situation is your situation.

If you are considering Buying or Selling here in Denver Metro click the link to reach my site. my site,DenverHomesMarket.com. Sellers, If you are asking yourself “Should I sell my home in Denver?” There is a valuation form for you to send my way. I’ll be happy to do some research to see what your home might fetch. For Denver Home Buyers go to property organizer, set up a few searches and get e-mail alerts, or send me a message and I can set them up for you.

Next Week’s Hot Topic: “Do You have what it takes?”