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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