Tag Archives: Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home? Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Spring time is approaching and many Metro Denver home owners are planning to sell in 2014.

Selling a home takes planning and preparation as you don’t live in a home the same way you sell it.  Any seller who has tried to do so will probably tell you the best thing to do is spend time making the home look fabulous BEFORE you put it on the market.

As an agent, I know for fact the more time a home owner spends sprucing up the home the less time it spends on the market.  This fact translates into a huge convenience factor, as few home owners appreciate having to vacate their home every time it gets shown.

Showing Availability

When an agent wants to come by with clients to see your home, don’t play “let’s make a deal” with the showing time.  Your house is on the market for sale. The agent and their clients typically have a list of homes to see and if you make it inconvenient for them to see your home during that time allotment, chances are they won’t even look at it!

Repairs are part of Home Maintenance

Repairs of safety and health issues are repairs you need to make immediately.  Leaky faucets, dirty chimneys, locks that don’t work with ease are all things you are going to need to fix.  Why not have your home pre-inspected by a professional?  By doing this you place your home above all the competition, making it even more attractive to a buyer.  Having a home in good repair reflects very well on you and gives the buyer the confidence he’s not buying a “problem money pit.”

Over Priced

Pricing is so sensitive these days.  Making the mistake of pricing you home out of the market is not advised.  The longer your home stays on the market the more “shop worn” it will get.  Your agent will need to respond to inquiries like, “why has it been on the market so long?”  Buyers think there must be something wrong with it when it doesn’t sell in a normal amount of time.  The longer it stays on the market the more likely an even bigger price reduction will be needed.  Price it within the market or slightly, and I do mean slightly higher and you will sell quicker and for more money!

Unwilling to Negotiate

Negotiation is not always about price.  Often a good negotiation is when both parties get what they want.  That may be a lesser price or it could be a bigger convenience.  No two negotiations are the same so keep an open mind when negotiations start, have a  Plan B and C incase Plan A doesn’t work out.

Unpleasant Odors

Simply put, “if you can smell it, you can’t sell it.”  If your house can’t pass the smell test you need to do something quickly.  Smoke? Stop.  Carpet dirty? Have it professionally cleaned.  Pet odors? Not everyone enjoys the smell of a wet dog, Keep Fido or Puffy elsewhere for awhile.  There are companies that specialize in removing odors.  Hiring one might be the best decision for your sale.

Successful Sale

A successful home sale begins long before the home goes on the market.  I begin with a consultation and then I bring in the stager.  She helps my home owners see their homes through the eyes of the potential buyer.  Her staging advice and my marketing strategy help educate the home owner and set them up for having a good experience during the sale of their home.


Data provided by ActiveRain.com.
ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

Housing as Commodities, the Housing Market Bottom, Short Sales, Foreclosures, and the Media


100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 97)

By now, most Americans with a pulse have figured out that the housing market crashed.  There are plenty of experts to tell you why, but the real simple reason is too many high risk loans made on too much overvalued property.  Most people also understand that the media is no longer very competent at describing and explaining anything more complicated than a cat in a tree. Since predicating the future is a fool’s game we aren’t going to play, we will provide a few simple explanations on what is happening, right now. It is also important to understand that the housing market did not crash everywhere, and is improving in some cities.

Housing is not a commodity.  A commodity is a product in great quantity with no distinguishable differences, like corn or wheat.  While many houses in a micro market may be similar, there are no two alike.  Because of “easy money” financing available in the past decade, some people began to think of houses as commodities, but it was really the seemingly endless supply of money that was a commodity. Because money is very hard to obtain today, houses are again becoming very singular in nature.

In any given micro market, you cannot tell when that market’s low point occurred (bottomed) until 6 months after the occurrence.  There must be a steady rise in statistical measurements to determine where the low point was, and at least six months of improvement is necessary to have confidence of a trend.  By the way, a micro market is best defined as a small geographic area, such a subdivision or towns, and a price range, say $300,000 to $350,000.  An example would be all of the homes in Happy Valley Acres priced between $250,000 and $300,000. Homes in that price range in Happy Valley may be selling like hot cakes, while homes in the same area price between $400,000 and $450,000 may not be selling at all.

A short sale happens when the holder of a mortgage loan (investor) is willing to accept a payoff of that loan for less than present value. There is no reason why the investor should accept less than the present payoff unless that investor thinks a foreclosure action will net them less money.  The seller of the property, any potential buyer, nor any real estate agents involved have any influence or power over the investors ultimate decision to accept a short sale offer, and there is no obligation on the investors part to act in a timely or efficient way.  The buyer of a short sale must be extremely patient, and understand that only 30 to 35% of short sale offers lead to a property transfer (closing).

Foreclosed houses are owned by the investor (bank).  As such, and like any owner, they have the power to set a price, negotiate a contract offer, and sell the property in as efficient and timely manner as possible.  The only real difference between a foreclosure sale and a “normal” sale is the general lack of emotion involved on the part of the seller, and the potential for serious deferred maintenance or damage to the property.

The media reports the information they can obtain from the most convenient and usually loudest sources.  There is little or no vetting of information sources in today’s media environment.  To a large degree that is because of the speed in which “news” must be broadcast.  The internet has devalued yesterday’s news, which is why newspapers are going out of business.  Every housing story presented to the public today is based on old data, old being last month, last quarter, or even last year.

As a consumer, ask your Realtor® to provide the most recent statistics available on the area you are considering.  You have a self-obligation to understand the small slice of the market that affects you.  We really cannot predict the future, but there is no excuse not to understand today.

Radon Gas in Colorado

100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 85)

Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that can enter a home. Most of Colorado is considered a high risk area carbonmonoxidegas for Radon, which occurs from the natural radium and uranium found in Colorado soil. Estimates of lung cancer deaths associated with Radon range as 21,000 in the United States. The combination of high concentrations of Radon coupled with tobacco smoking dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a measurement of 4 picocuries per liter (4 pCi/l) as the maximum amount that does not pose a health hazard. Radon amounts above 4.0 pCi/l pose a health risk, and mitigation measures are advised. Obviously, the higher the amount of Radon present, the greater the risk to dwelling occupants.

As a homebuyer, how should you proceed with this potential risk? First, you have the legal opportunity, provided in all Colorado contracts to buy real estate, to have testing performed to determine the presence of Radon. (You have the legal opportunity, defined by the contract, to have all manner of inspections and testing performed on any property you contract to purchase, of which Radon testing is just one of many possible inspections.) Most certified home inspectors can perform radon gas testing, using sophisticated electronic measuring devices. The cost of testing is usually $75 -$150 dollars, and a written report is provided. All home buyers should have this test performed during the contractual inspection period.

If the home test under 4.0 pCi/l, there is no need to perform mitigation. Mitigation should be performed if the amount present is greater than 4.0 pCi/l. Mitigation can be relatively simple in most homes. An EPA certified mitigation contractor can install a sub-slab ventilation system, which equalizes the pressure in the house, preventing Radon gas buildup. At times, more complex measures must be taken, but seldom is the cost to mitigate prohibitive. The cost to mitigate is a negotiable item, however, the seller is usually in a weak position, as most buyers will not buy a home with high levels of Radon gas.

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Importance of a Sign in the Yard

Selling Your Denver Home

100 Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 73)

When it comes time to sell your home many comfort zones must be crossed.  Yes, strangers need to come visit when you are not home. You will be asked to leave at the most inconvenient times.  Frequently you will be invaded with little or very short notice.

Selling one’s home is not an easy task, unless you are ready to “let go.”   As a homeowner letting go means more than just letting go of your house, you must also let go of the normal controls and swim against that tide of annoyances if you really want to get to the next stage in your life.

One of the controls many people wish they can keep is not having a sign in the yard. On some levels I can understand this, it seems a little sign is hardly a strong marketing factor, but a quick look at the stats redeems a signs value.

Homes sell as a result of the buyer seeing the sign are significant.  According to the National Association of Realtors (the folks who make it their business to track statistics) 64% of buyers found the home they purchased, due to the real estate sign!

It is hard to ignore an high percentage like that!  So the next time you want to sell your home, but really hate the thought of having a sign in the yard advertising your property, think of 64% that’s more than half of the buyers may stumble across that old yard sign.

Grin and bear it!

Story of the Photo: On a trip to Phoenix I spotted this yard full of signs.  I insisted my hubby go around the block so I could shoot it.  Fortunately it’s a collector who loves political signs and not real estate for sale signs!  I’m just glad he’s not my neighbor!

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How To Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Step 1: Declutter your home

Step 2: Hide your pets

Step 3: Make yourself scarce

Step 4: Don’t discount the first offer

Step 5: List your home a few thousand dollars below a major round number

Step 6: Remember curb appeal

Step 7: Out with the old

Step 8: Depersonalize your home

Step 9: Aim for light and bright

Step 10: Fix anything that is broken