Selling

Selling

The Benefits of Home Staging

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Get Ready, Sell, Tips for Sellers | 0 comments

Staging a home is an important step in the selling process for many homes. With a fresh look plus strategic placement of furniture and decor, a staged home can attract more buyers and often times generate a quicker sale and higher sales price. Your broker can guide you through the process to see what type of staging fits your home best, from minor touch-ups or new coats of paint to more in-depth construction projects. Your broker’s expertise and experience in this area allow them to offer tips, strategies, and staging company recommendations to help you to get the best price for your home. “After being on the market for 3 months with another agent, our client’s house wasn’t selling so they decided to make a change. We came in, re-staged the property, implemented our marketing strategy, and listed the property at the same price at which it had expired. The home had 25 showings the first weekend back on the market, was under contract in 2 days and closed well over the asking price in just 3 weeks time.” Over 95% of Buyers Agents say that staging has some effect on their view of the home Almost 1/3 of buyers are more willing to “overlook property faults” when the home is staged Over 81% of buyers find it “easier to visualize the property as their future...

read more

Selling your Home: step-by-step

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Tips for Sellers | 0 comments

Selling your Home: step-by-step

Some things change fast in real estate: markets go up and down, contract language is updated, mistakes and lawsuits give rise to new regulations and rulings.   But other things remain the same, year after year.  Here are the things our Colorado Department of Real Estate (DORA) wants you to know about the process of selling your home: Determine goals or outcome: Once the decision to sell has been made, a number of other questions come to mind. What is a fair price under the current market conditions? What are the current market conditions? How can the property be marketed most effectively? How long will the process take and how should I proceed with future plans? Who will be able to help with contract and closing requirements? Some sellers have the experience and expertise to answer these questions, many others would prefer professional assistance from a real estate broker and/or an attorney. Interview and select a broker: The process for selecting a broker is described in the section titled “How to Select a Real Estate Broker“. As a seller, pricing and marketing issues are very important. Everyone wants to make sure they get the best possible price and terms. Proper preparation will assist you in reaching that goal. Competitive Market Analysis: The brokers that you interview will want to take a careful look at your property in order to gather information to help them estimate its value. This estimate is not an appraisal, but a competitive market analysis. This is a tool that will allow you to compare your property with similar properties recently sold and currently on the market. Marketing Strategy: Newspapers, yard signs, open houses, internet, multiple listings service? How should your property be marketed? What kinds of advertising really pay off? What works for sellers in my price range? A broker who knows your area will be able to help you devise a marketing plan based on previous successes. The Listing Agreement: The listing agreement is the written contract whereby a property owner hires a real estate broker to market real property and provide services. A listing contract describes the property ( address and legal description), the listing price and the terms that are acceptable to the seller. The listing also outlines the compensation that the broker is to receive. A listing may specify a percentage of the selling price, a flat fee or any other negotiated agreement mutually acceptable to the parties (the seller and the broker are the parties to the listing contract) as compensation to the real estate broker. Colorado brokers are required to use listing contracts approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Preparing for a Showing: Your broker can give you good advice about how to prepare your property for showing. Common sense applies, but a trained third party observer can help you to make the best possible first impression on prospective purchasers. A thorough clean-up, a little fresh paint or minor repairs can help show your property in a favorable light. Counteroffers: An offer to purchase made by a prospective buyer has no limits on what price or terms it may contain. An offer that mirrors the listing’s asking price and terms may be common under certain market conditions, however, from a purchaser’s point of view, it may represent a minor issue in...

read more

Do HOAs Affect Home Values?

Posted by on Oct 12, 2014 in Featured, Money Matters, Sell, Trends | 0 comments

Do HOAs Affect Home Values?

Research suggests that HOA’s have an effect on home values – almost always for the better. “Theory does suggest that  HOAs increase home value. The rights and responsibilities that come with an HOA affect a home’s value, just as do the number of  bedrooms and the quality of the local schools.  A great house in a community with a poorly designed or badly managed HOA is a great house in a bad neighborhood.” – Amanda Agan and Alexander Tabarrok , George Mason University. The Downside Since most homes built in America today come with an HOA, the rare negative effect might be where your monthly HOA fees are substantially higher than those for a similar home in another neighborhood.  We sometimes see this where there have not been adequate maintenance reserves collected over the years and they’re having to play “catch up”; or when there has had to be a special assessment (because they didn’t have adequate reserves).  In that case, the price will have to be lower to reflect the additional cost of ownership to the Buyer.  How much lower?  Well, you could take the difference in monthly HOA fees, use that as the payment toward mortgage principal at the prevailing rates, and calculate the amount of mortgage that would pay off over 30 years.  There’s your price difference. The Upsides The advantages, although not as clear-cut economically, are Covenants. Also called Deed Restrictions. These are rules creating standards for quality and appearance of the home and lot. They’re usually enforced by the HOA.  Some people will bristle at the thought of anyone telling them what they can or can’t do with their home, but consider that the characteristic of “conformity” carries only a positive connotation (and value adjustment) in the language of appraisal.  Hence, the fact that neighborhoods where all the homes look nice tend to sell for more. http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/article/Association/Value_Of_HOA Local Control.  Part of the premise of having a HOA is that local residents can manage their neighborhood better than the various divisions of city government. That’s why the HOA has control over streets, landscape maintenance, amenities, etc.  In fact, Denver Government even allows non-HOA neighborhoods to be an integral part of planning, development, code enforcement, variances, and other functions through RNOs (Registered Neighborhood Organizations).  In Winston Downs, we really have a RNO which has “HOA” in it’s name. http://www.denvergov.org/maps/map/neighborhoodorganizations. Some analysts even point to the rise in “Local Governments” (http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2005/9/v28n3-2.pdf), noting that HOAs lead the way in providing more individualized, cheaper and better quality services than can be provided by City and State agencies. Placemaking and Community.  “Placemaking is a quiet movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community, in every city. It’s a transformative approach that inspires people to create and improve their public places. Placemaking strengthens the connection between people and the places they share.”  http://www.pps.org/reference/what_is_placemaking.  HOAs are made up of neighbors, neighbors make a community, and communities strengthen and enforce shared values.  Strong communities help drive strong home values. Winston Downs HOA With all that said, the HOA (really an RNO) for Winston Downs Neighborhood is entirely voluntary, and at this writing a bargain at $15/year per family. The neighborhood doesn’t carry any deed restrictions, so code enforcement is pretty much up to local government.  But the RNO is an active participant in organizing community activities, weighing in on local issues, schools, development and code variance requests which...

read more

The Appraisal: 10 things your broker should do

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Featured, For Sale, Sell, Tips for Sellers, Working with Brokers | 0 comments

The Appraisal:  10 things your broker should do

Appraisals are sometimes a source of confusion for both Buyers and Sellers, but usually for different reasons. Review:  an appraisal is an opinion of value prepared by an authorized person.  In Colorado, Appraisers are licensed and regulated by the State. There are different levels of licensure, depending on the qualifications of the Appraiser. Buyers sometimes think that the appraisal will “protect” them from overpaying.  There is a clause in the contract, after all, that says in effect: “if the appraisal doesn’t come in at contract price, you don’t have to buy the house.”  While there may be an element of truth in that kind of protection (today, anyway), you should stop thinking that.  If you need a reason, please Google “the role of appraisals and appraisers in the Global Financial Collapse of 2006-2008” or something similar.  There was nothing protective of Buyers for a long time leading up to the disaster, and you’ll be better off being a little more skeptical. Sellers sometimes think that the Broker’s price opinion was an appraisal, or that having multiple offers (or even one offer) is some kind of assurance that the appraisal will come back at contract price.  Actually, there is some truth in the latter – competing offers should have a positive effect on value – but it’s not a given. Why Appraisals are done.  In residential real estate, they are done to protect the lender’s interest in the property (the mortgage).  To learn more about what can go wrong I this scenario, Google  “the role of appraisals and appraisers in the Global Financial Collapse of 2006-2008”. The appraisal is ordered by the lender and paid for by the Buyer. What can you do to make sure the appraisal goes the best way possible?  Answer: treat the appraisal just like you would a “showing:”  home is spotless, lights on, curtains open, staging in place (if applicable), etc. Beyond that, there are several things you should expect your agent to do. The following list is advice from an appraiser to your broker; it’s adapted from “10 Things to Guarantee a Perfect Appraisal”, by Kerry Dunn, founder/chief appraiser at Dunn Appraisals, www.dunnappraisals.com 1)   Show up Having you, the realtor, at the appraisal really helps everything run better for the appraiser. 2)   Call/Email If you can’t show up, please make a phone call or send an email of introduction to the appraiser. 3)   Pricing Show the appraiser the documentation that you were relying on in pricing the property. 4)   Contract Email or hardcopy contracts are always appreciated as appraisers don’t always get them from the lender. This will ensure that the appraiser has the most recent copy/latest amend-extend of the contract. 5)   Hope for the best, plan for the worst As with realtors, appraisers come with varied levels of experience. Keep in mind that even the most experienced of appraisers may not be intimate with the market nuances of your property or neighborhood. Educate them with what you know, in 60 seconds or less. If it takes longer than that, put it in writing and give it to the appraiser. 6)   Comps Don’t assume that the appraiser will identify and consider the same sales/listings as you did. The appraiser may, or may not, consider the same properties in the appraisal, but at least you have disclosed them. 7)   Detail sheet Give the appraiser a list...

read more

Choosing Paint Colors in Winston Downs

Posted by on Mar 8, 2014 in Get Ready, Sell, Tips for Sellers | 0 comments

Choosing Paint Colors in Winston Downs

Why paint your house? Seller’s will often ask a broker what should be done to prepare their home to sell.  A good place to start is with “street appeal”: the first impression of your home as the buyer drives up.  Yes, I’ve had buyers who wouldn’t get out of the car . . . don’t be that house, even if you’re leaving some things “as is” in other parts of the house. Exterior painting isn’t cheap to do right – the best painters spend a lot of time preparing (scraping, caulking, etc.) before applying paint. But of all the things you can do to “stage” your home, it may have the best dollar-for-dollar payback on the sale.  Plus, there’s that incalculable element of making a good impression and getting the buyer inside — at which point they may be more forgiving of other shortcomings (condition-wise) on the inside. What should you think about when choosing exterior paint colors? Look at the rest of the neighborhood.  Yes, you can and should make an individual statement with your colors, but also try and conform to the look of the subdivision. You want to look like your home “fits in” with the others; drive around and look for some that have done a good job with exterior paint.  Choose a scheme that blends with the neighborhood or stands out in a subtle, unobtrusive manner. Look at your neighbor’s house on both sides of you.  Choose colors that don’t clash with your neighbor. Think about your existing landscaping: do you have trees that change color?  You can also consider flowering shrubs and flower gardens when selecting colors for compatibility. Big trees?  We have them in our neighborhood, so remember that shade from the trees will tend to make colors appear darker. A 2-Color scheme is usually best In Winston Downs, most of the homes are ranches built in the 1950’s to 1960’s.  This particular mid-century architecture features simple and clean lines without much ornamentation.  When painting, the main architectural “details” to consider are gutters & downspouts, window and shutters (if any), doors and siding. For the majority of homes, a 2-color scheme works just fine:  one color for the siding and another for the trim.  Notice on the house to the left, the soffits (the part underneath the roof overhang) are painted the same as the gutters.  A safe and effective approach to color placement is to select two tints or shades from the same color strip a few shades apart. Either the lighter or the darker shade could be used for the body and the opposite for the trim. A contrasting accent color could punctuate the door. Lighter colors on a porch will make a home feel more “approachable” and welcoming. If there are details that you want to emphasize, lighter colors will make them stand out.  You can define the entryway by using color as a “Welcome” sign, but do this carefully (notice the house at “508”  has a green door). Windows are an opportunity: they give character to a house. Outlining them can give crispness to the color scheme – if that’s what you think it needs.  Try not to “accent” unattractive elements such as gutters, downspouts, a protruding garage door, air conditioning units, unevenly placed windows, etc. Consider the colors that can’t change (exterior brick for example, roofing shingles, and...

read more