Aug. 17, 2018

Parade of Homes 2018

If you love touring homes, don't miss the 2018 Parade of Homes!  Open now on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays through August 26!  Make plans now so you don't miss it!

Aug. 17, 2018

The Closing Process - How Long Should it Take?

Closing Closing Time how long does it take

From Contract to Closing - How Long Should it Take?

Now that you have decided to purchase a home how long will it take until it's actually your home?  Well that depends.

Every state has a different process, but in general we all do the same things, we just do the differently.  Colorado is a "Table Closing State" meaning we all go to a closing, usually at the Title Company and the Title Representative or Escrow Agent "closes" the deal.  When done the buyers get the keys and they officially own the home.

Getting to the closing table can take a couple of different paths.  If the transaction is all cash, it can happen quickly in 7-10 days.  However if the transaction involves buyer financing, it take longer.

A typical Colorado Sale will need to complete the following:

  • An executed contract signed by all parties
  • Earnest money deposited
  • Title work ordered and delivered
  • Due diligence documents delivered & reviewed
  • HOA documents delivered and reviewed
  • Inspections of a buyer's choice; home inspection, radon test, sewer scope, etc.
  • Inspection resolution
  • Appraisal ordered, completed and delivered
  • Loan package completed, underwritten
  • Buyer walk through prior to closing

While most of these items proceed in a timely fashion, it does take time to go through each step.  Buyer's incur fees for inspections and appraisals.  If there is concern that a home will require more work than a buyer is wiling to do and the seller refuses to do, than a buyer may not want to order an appraisal until the inspection objection is passed.

A typical closing can comfortably occur within 30 days from the offer to purchase being accepted.  The longest process is the appraisal and underwriting.  One cannot occur until the other is completed.

Every transaction comes with unique circumstances.  It is best to consider the needs of both parties and set expectations up within the reality of what is possible.  Buying and selling a home is a very emotional process, so adding to the stress of the transaction by rushing a process that can't be rushed is best avoided!

Discuss your needs and expectations with your Realtor when writing your offer to be sure everyone understands and can live with the deadlines.  

Posted in Buyer Tips
Aug. 16, 2018

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Waiting Periods

Denver Real Estate

After the financial crisis which started around 2008, many homeowners found it necessary to give up their homes either by filing bankruptcy or letting the lender foreclosure.  These actions came not only with emotion, but penalties for buying a new home.  Fortunately, the penalties do not last forever!

When it come to financing a new home purchase, each type of financing has different rules.  Here's how they break out:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Conventional loan = 4 years discharge date
  • FHA loan = 2 years discharge date
  • VA loan = 2 years from discharge date

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

  • Conventional loan = 2 years from discharge date
  • FHA loan = 1 year of payment period must elapse (requires approval of the court)
  • VA loan = 1 year of payment period must elapse (requires approval of the court)

Foreclosure

  • Conventional loan = 7 years from the recording date of Public trustee's Deed
  • FHA loan = 3 years from recording date of Public Trustee's Deed
  • VA Loan = 2 years from recording date of Public Trustee's Deed

It is important to note, in addition to the waiting period, the borrower must establish good credit again.  To do that it might be helpful to talk to a lender. They can help you with suggestions on how to do regain good credit.

Everyone needs a place to live.  Renting only makes sense for people who are not settled in an area for at least 2 years or more.  Over 2 years, renting stops making sense.  Owning a home is wise.  Is it time to be a homeowner again?

Posted in Buyer Tips
May 21, 2018

The Crossing Guards

Nature protects their young just as we humans do!  I so enjoyed watching about 25 goslings and their parents cross the street.

May 19, 2018

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Spring is here and along with the spring flowers comes a new crop of homes for sale.  Metro Denver is enjoying (?) a very limited number of homes on the market with more buyers than homes!  Home owners are finding it easy to sell, but there is a surprise.here isn't any one reason for this, but a combination of many reasons.  Often times the seller has failed to fix a significant problem and the buyer just backs out because they can't afford to take care of that "one more thing."

Remember if you are homeowner you need to keep the home in good shape be doing regular maintenance.  If for instance your roof is at the end of its useful life, then yes, you will need to replace it.  The cost for this will not increase the value of your home, but will in fact allow you to successfully sell it!

Recently Houzz, the online magazine published a list of things to do to get your home ready for market.  It's a read worth your time.

With Mother’s Day and Memorial Day coming up this month, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready for entertaining. From scheduling house painting to organizing your outdoor cooking tools, tick these 13 items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff: hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season. Let the countdown to summer begin!

Here's the list:

  1. Check outdoor lighting
  2. Give potted plants some TLC (this applies to overall landscaping, especially approach to the home.
  3. Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures
  4. Check safety devices
  5. Get ready for grilling season
  6. Maintain and repair garden paths
  7. Clean walls an touch up paint
  8. Clean items on open shelves
  9. Refresh bedrooms
  10. Thoroughly clean the laundry room (and the rest of the house too!)
  11. Paint or stain your home's exterior (ask me about which colors are better for attracting buyers)
  12. Put together a picnic kit (not sure why other than having a ready reason to go relax)
  13. Add a relaxing porch feature

If you have other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!  Please feel free to contact me for a no obligation home value report and consultation to prepare your home to sell.

To-Dos: Your May Home Checklist

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 22, 2018

Sell My House in Lone Tree ~ 2 Ways to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your Home

The Metro Denver Real Estate Market is suffering from a lack of inventory (homes for sale).  As a seller you can use this fact to your advantage, but with some qualification. This article points out the importance of pricing your home so you end up with multiple bidders. This not only makes sense, it works!

See for yourself...

 

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Impact of Price on Visibility

 

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.  Watch the Video

Source: KCM Kristal Kraft Blog

If you are thinking about selling your home, you need an advocate.  As an experienced, long time Realtor, negotiator and marketer I use all the best methods to procure the best deal for you in the sale of your home.  

You may call me directly at 303-589-2022.  I welcome your call!

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 15, 2018

Free Resource Guide for Selling Your Home

Selling Your Denver Home

Questions to consider when selling your home

This year in the Metro Denver market we have had a strong appreciation, where home prices are returning to their former levels.  Many homeowners who were "underwater" with their mortgages are now finding they have equity.  This is good news because it opens up the opportunity for homeowners to sell.

Is now a good time to sell?

In a word, yes!  Due to the high demand for homes to purchase, sellers are enjoying a "seller's market".  A seller's market is defined by the "days on market".  When the days on market is 25 weeks or less (6.25 months), it is a seller's market.  We go even further to define the seller's market as "Extreme Seller's Market" when the available inventory is from 0-12 weeks.

How do we calculate the number of weeks inventory?

This is a simple math calculation.  The number of homes for sale (during the month) is divided by the number of homes sold (during the month)=weeks of inventory.

This is not a perfect calculation as these numbers fluctuates as home come on the market. But still, it gives us good guidance as to know if values are increasing or decreasing.  This is important for a home owner to know when they are preparing to sell.

How do I determine the price?

As a Realtor, I can evaluate these numbers when preparing a pricing strategy for the home.  Looking at comparable sold properties that happened in the past is one portion of pricing equation.  One needs to evaluate the future home price based on demand.  The value could be significantly more if there is a great demand for the home.

At the same time one needs to be very cautious about getting to aggressive and over-pricing the home.  Over-pricing can be detrimental in the long run, causing the home to become "shop-worn" from being on the market too long.  Buyers are weary of homes that don't sell quickly. They are concerned that there is "something" wrong with the property they might not be able to see.

How long will it take to sell my home?

Good question and one that I can only answer based on past history.  I look at the "days on market" other homes in that price range and neighborhood have sold for and usually can give you a good estimate.

Right now in Metro Denver the days on market varies by price range.  Of course it only makes sense that more houses sell in the "average" and below price range than above.  If your home is in the average or below price range it stands to reason the timing for sale will be very similar.

There are extenuating factors that could change the days on market

  • Condition
  • Location
  • Accepting a contract with buyers who aren't qualified, committed, reasonable

Condition of your home has a bearing on who will buy it.  If your home is in need of updating or major repairs, not everyone in the market is up to do that.  The home will need to be priced right so buyers who want to do repairs can afford to purchase AND do the repairs.  There are many companies that will offer to "buy your ugly house" but beware they are in the business to make a profit and the offer they give you will be a "wholesale price".  I can guarantee I can find a buyer for more than they will pay you, including what you need after you pay me!  

Location is really a tough one. You've probably hear the real estate mantra, location, location, location.  Well if you are in a good location, you did well.  If you purchased in a poor location or the location has gotten poor since you bought, you will just need to deal with it.  That means compensating for it in price or providing irresistible terms to a buyer.  There are many strategies to get you out of a bad location, it all depends on the situation.

Don't despair just remember "one man's house is another man's castle."

Contract fallout is a huge issue right now with our fast paced Metro Denver real estate market.  Buyers are literally purchasing homes and then getting buyer's remorse and walking away from the contract.  I think it's because the competition demands that they act before they have fully digested the big decision they are making.  People really need to have choices. When that is taken away from them they become uncertain.

How do we prevent this?  Working with the seller, I dig as deep as I can into the buyer's qualifications.  Just because they wrote an offer doesn't necessarily mean they can and will perform.  By researching their qualifications and asking more questions I hopefully can ferret out the unserious buyers.  It means a lot to my sellers when they have the piece of mind the transaction will go as planned.

Free Guide: Things to Consider When Selling Your House.

Keeping Current Matters offers a wonderful resource guide for Home Owners with questions about selling their homes.  You can click on the link below that will take you to my Evernote account where you can download/view the book at your leisure.  If you have questions about the local market, please feel free to send me an email or call.  I welcome your contact!

 

Image-SellerGuideSummer2014 Download your free guide here

 

Click here for English Version 

Click here for Spanish Version 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 14, 2018

Low Downpayment Financing is Available

low down payment assistance

Affordable Financing is Now Available to Qualified Buyers!

When buying a home you find yourself with many challenges.  Affordability is probably the most challenging, right up there with making the timing of the move work and being able to find what you actually want to live in!  Well if you are in the market to purchase a home, you will be relieved to know you can now do it with as little as 1% down.  Yes ONE PERCENT!  This is no typo!

There's the old standby, traditional downpayment assistance

You maybe familiar with what we in the real estate industry refer to asl"Down Payment Assistance Programs" these programs are available through the Local governments who joined forces to provide bond financing such as Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus.  The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority known as CHAFA also offers low down funds.  Typically these programs have a requirement that the buyer live in the home for a certain length of time before they can sell and keep their equity without sharing it with the lender or they are limited to first time buyers.  Each program has different requirements that might be restrictive.

The Latest Low Down Loan Features Are Great!

Today I discovered yet another plan that is far better than anything I've seen  yet!  This plan allows a borrower to purchase with only 1% down!  The mortgage company provides the other 2% down on behalf of the borrower!

This program is open to buyers with a minimum credit score (FICO) of 680 and a maximum income of 100% of the area median income.  This varies from county to county but it's around $83,000/annually.

The borrower DOES NOT NEED TO BE A FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER!  Condos are OK. The "debt to income ratio" can be as hight as 50%.  It is conventional financing so the home isn't scrutinized like an FHA/VA loan.

The underwriting is flexible with credit given to for boarder income and rental income.

Purchasing a Home Comes with Responsibilities...

Like other low downpayment assistance programs the borrower is required to attend a homeownership class.  The class associated with this program can be taken online.  There is a small fee, but for a limited time there are discount coupons available, you just need to ask!

Don't forget in addition to the 1% a buyer is responsible to pay for their closing costs, inspection fees, etc.  

If you are interested in learning more,

I'm happy to talk to you and connect you with the lender.  Only then can we determine if this program is a good fit for you.  Call me, I welcome your call! 303-589-2022

 

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
Nov. 11, 2017

Denver Real Estate Market Report October 2017

Oct. 13, 2017

September Real Estate Market Update

September Real Estate Market Update