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Curated articles and tools for all of your real estate questions.
On average, a staged home sells 88% faster than a home that’s left as is. The reason is it gives buyers a “stage” onto which they can envision themselves living in your home. Select neutral paint colors and remove family photos and personal effects. When you are struggling with color, go for white. You need to give would-be homeowners a blank canvas on which they can let their imaginations run wild. If you don’t feel comfortable staging your own home, consider the services of a professional stager. Your agent can help you find a stager who provides the level of service you need.
Furnished homes generally show better than do vacant houses. You should only consider vacating your home before listing if personal circumstances dictate that you must move while the home is on the market or if your furnishings are poorly maintained or the environment is overly cluttered. Also, vacant homes usually communicate a need to sell and weakens your negotiating position, so it can impact the sales price. If circumstances require that you vacate your home while it’s on the market, discuss whether using the services of a professional stager makes sense with your agent.
There is no situation in which the seller should be home during a showing. Having the owner in the house makes the buyers uncomfortable. Buyers are likely to be reticent to make comments or ask their agents questions about the home. Very often, owners have a tendency to argue if a potential buyer makes a comment that could be a little negative. This can turn off buyers and lose you offers.
Whether or not to have Open Houses is a topic of great discussion in the real estate industry. Open houses may make you feel good, since people are seeing your home, but they are rarely an effective way to sell your house. In fact, only 1% of homes are sold via an open house according to the National Association of Realtors. More often than not, people who go through open houses fall into one of the following groups: 1) Individuals just beginning to look at homes who are getting a feel for the market and are not usually ready to make a commitment, 2) Lookie-loos - people who are not interested in buying a home, but just want to see what your home looks like, 3) Curious neighbors who just want to see how your home compares to theirs, 4) People who are selling or intend to list soon who want to check out the competition. Some people choose not to have Open Houses due to security concerns. You should discuss the pros and cons of Open Houses with your agent
If your home is more than ten years old, then it may it may make sense to provide a home warranty to your buyer. Many companies offer home warranties for $350 – $400. Offering a warranty can be a real positive for some buyers and is something that can be included in your listing. Discuss the e pros and cons of providing a home warranty with your agent. He/she can help you find a reputable home warranty company and can help with the application.
Many sellers have extreme anxiety at the thought of having to clean out and fix up their home prior to listing it for sale. Often, it delays or even prevents them from listing their home in the first place. Usually, there’s far less to do than sellers think. Before undertaking costly and time consuming projects, talk with your agent to get their feedback. You might be pleasantly surprised. Start with the basics. Things to focus on are the minor mechanical issues (loose doorknobs, faucets, etc.), keeping the interior clean and uncluttered, windows clean, and the yard well kept and maintained.
Contrary to popular belief, homes sell year round. Statistics show the real estate market is strongest in the spring and usually slows a bit during the summer due to vacations and families getting ready for the start of school. After the summer slowdown, activity tends to pick up for a second, less robust, season that usually lasts into November. The market then slows again due to the holidays, however there are still buyers in the market (and often they are very motivated to make a decision). But remember, they have fewer homes to choose from so those on the market at that time have considerably less competition. When you decide to list, it’s best if your home is available to show continuously until it sells.
This is the first question a homeowner asks when they get ready to list. The market value of your own home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and many other factors. Pricing properly is the single most important factor in selling a home, so you want to do your homework so you don’t miss the mark when you list. There are two primary methods used to determine the value of a home; an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA). Most sellers choose not to use the appraisal method because of the cost. Costs for appraisals for single family homes or condos typically range from about $500-$1000 in Denver. Appraisers review many factors and base information similar properties that have sold recently. They consider location, square footage, quality of construction, lot size, views, condition of the home, upgrades, and amenities such as garages, number of bedrooms and baths, etc. A CMA is a less formal estimate of market value performed by a real estate agent. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value. Methodology varies greatly by agent, so ask lots of questions when they share the CMA. Most agents offer a complimentary CMA to prospective clients. Sellers tend to inflate their home's positives and discount the flaws that are all too apparent to buyers, so try to keep the emotion out of the pricing discussion and be as strategic as possible when it comes to pricing your home.
Your lender can tell you if this is an option for you. Assuming your lender says you can qualify to buy before you sell your current home, you’ll need to decide if you are willing and able to carry two mortgages (possibly for an extended period if your current home doesn’t sell quickly) and deal with the stress that comes from maintaining two homes. Your agent should be able to guide you to a good decision.
No two home sale process are exactly the same, but these are the steps in the process common to most every home sale: 1) Select a real estate professional to be your partner as you sell your home. Make sure it’s an experienced agent who you are comfortable with…you’l be spending a lot of quality together. 2) Set the sales price for your home. Working closely with your agent who can provide market insights and provide a competitive market analysis, you’ll decide on a list price. Pricing your home properly is the ingle most important factor in the sales process (see the FAQ How much is my home worth?). 3) Prepare your home for sale. View your home through the eyes of a buyer and ask yourself what you you’d expect (See FAQ’s What do I have to do to get my home ready for sale? And Why is staging my home important?). 4) List it. When you’ve gotten the home ready for buyers to see and after your agent is ready to execute the marketing plan, it’s time to list your home for sale. Remember to make it as easy as you can for buyers to view your home. 5) Receive offers and negotiation. If the home is priced properly and everything goes well, a buyer’s agent will submit an offer to your agent who will review the offer with you and point out all the benefits and risks. If you have multiple offers, your agent will help you to evaluate each and provide the information you need which offer is best for you. 6) You go under contract. After you and the buyer agree on all the terms of the agreement, both parties sign the agreements and other necessary documents….you are under contract - congratulations. Finalize the details. 6) This step in the process can vary based upon the terms of the agreement, your buyer, etc. The buyer finalizes their loan and will usually have a home inspection done. Based on the results, they may ask you to make certain repairs. Your agent will explain all your options and how best to respond to the seller’s request. 7) Closing day. This is the end of the process. The buyer’s loan is funded, all the documents are signed and ownership is transferred. CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully SOLD your home.
The first, and one of the most important tasks when you want to sell your home is to select your professional real estate agent. It is possible to sell a home without a licensed real estate agent, but it’s a whole lot harder to do so and statistics show it will take longer, on average, to sell it yourself. Not only have real estate agents received training to help sellers, they’re up-to-date on current market conditions, real estate transaction procedures, laws, the closing process and they are proficient in pricing homes so you maximize the sales price. It’s not unusual for owners not using an agent are asked by potential buyers to discount the commission rate that would be given to an agent. Agents will also be able to provide you with dependable and helpful industry contacts like Title companies and other service professionals who can help to ensure the selling process will go more smoothly. Finally, a professional/licensed real estate agent is happy to provide guidance based on experience when evaluating offers, negotiating the sales price or at any other time during the listing and selling process.