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Selling A Home

Selling a home in a “Sellers” market, though certainly easier than during a recession, still has a few things that might trip you up a bit if you don’t watch out!
1. Hire a Realtor! Yes, hire a professional who can guide you through the obstacles of selling your home. It’s not advisable to just put a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the yard and hope for the best. Most of us will do a title search for you to be sure there are no surprises on the Deed. It’s called a Clouded Title and can create real problems for a Seller. Do you know what to do if the Legal Description is wrong? How do you check out the Buyer; their offer; their finances… Can you build an effective Comparison so you know what to ask for the home? How about the potential for a contentious and even confrontational period of offer/counter-offer/negotiation? We really can help you – it’s what we do for a living.
2. Talk to your Realtor! Talk to them about fixing a “sell-able” price for your home. You know the area better than anyone so you’ll know before we do what property has sold, will be sold and for how much. Have information on hand when we visit. Comparable homes around the area will be readily available to your Realtor and they’ll probably bring that information with them. Oh, once you sign up with a Realtor, let them handle it! That’s what we do. 4 important words to remember: “Talk To My Realtor!”
3. If you have lived in the home for a long time, take time to grieve for the “loss” of the home before you list it. Silly as that might sound, it can interfere with selling. Take photos of the home; do a video showing off all the special rooms that mean something to you and tell why. Then, and here’s the hard part, began to tell yourself over and over it’s only a house – you’re moving to a new home! The emotional part of selling Residential Property is often the hardest. It means something to the Seller and now, they’re giving it to someone else… and they have to walk away. It’s emotionally pretty rough on most Sellers, but you can do it. Detach yourself early in the process then the closing table isn’t such a scary place to be!
4. Another “not so easy part.” Your home will show better is it’s not terribly cluttered. Clutter isn’t meant to be an offensive word at all. A Buyer’s idea of clutter will be vastly different than a Seller. We actually have people here at Total Concept Real Estate Services that will go to your home and help you “stage” your own home for sale. Take down all of the personal photos that adorn your walls. Store them safely and then patch and paint if you need to. Moving is always a great time to replace older furniture you had planned to replace anyway. Make your home open and airy. Donating items that have done a phenomenal job of taking up space is a great way to get tax credits and more room for you. Remember, things begin to own us, not the other way around. Items you haven’t used or worn in a while can always give a recipient the same great sense of pleasure that you once felt with it. Sell it, store it or just plain give stuff away but take time to look at things the way a potential Buyer would. I could say more but I think you get the idea 
5. DON’T go out and spend tons of money to finish the basement! If you’ve lived there for years and it still is unfinished, leave it for the new guys to fix the way they’d like it! DO take time to fix the kitchen and bathrooms. Seriously, kitchens and bathrooms can REALLY make a difference – fix ‘em up! Paint, fixtures, plate covers, lighting – all of those will really make a difference. In the bathroom, get those fancy bowl covers that close without slamming; put up new light fixtures; be sure the fan works without screeching! Important note to self: Be sure your bathroom smells nice. We all know what goes on in there, we don’t need to be reminded! Again, we have people who will be happy to help you with ideas for inexpensive but lovely decorations that will add massively to the kitchen or bathroom or to any room!
6. Be sure the home is “fixed.” As in no leaky faucets; grounded outlets that actually ground… Light bulbs that work; curtains that open and close, (yes, Buyers will pull the cord to see); doors that don’t squeak; sinks that drain, all kinds of little maintenance things that don’t cost a lot of money but will take a little of your time. You get the idea.
7. Mow the yard and fertilize. Curb appeal goes a LONG WAY in getting Buyers in the home. I’ve had clients tell me “no way” when they first drove up. It looked like no one had loved that home for years. Trim back hedges and bushes to open up the first look of the home. Keep the yard clear of debris and toys and cars and parts and trash and proof of pet ownership. It’s really irritating to take that proof back to the car on Buyers shoes… Just sayin’.
8. If the home needs painting, paint it. If it needs window glass replaced, replace it. If just the trim needs painting, well, paint it. Spending a few dollars up front will (1) get you the best price for your home and (2) justify the best price for the home. People want to be proud of what they just bought!
9. Last thing I’ll mention is don’t feel like you have to spend thousands on upgrading or remodeling your home. Set a budget for what you want to do. Stay within that budget and do the best you can with what you have. Your bottom line is that you want your home to catch the eye of a Buyer and get it sold. Make it special for them to see and feel. Think it through when “fixing.” Go on line and look at homes for sale to get ideas – prowl around IKEA and Bed, Bath and Beyond for ideas. Shoot there are so many things in those stores I didn’t know I couldn’t live without…
If you’re looking to buy a home, check out our page on Buying. There are some pretty good ideas there to help you with the purchase.

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Buying a home

First, decide what you can AFFORD for your family.  This is EXTREMELY important as it will determine our criteria.  We want the most we can get for your money; after all, it is the most important purchase you will make!  Be realistic in how much area you need; how many beds and baths; do you REALLY want a monster yard?  (You have to mow it…)

Second, decide on what you like in a floor plan.  You have to be realistic in the design – does it hold with the first item?  If this is your first home remember, you might be selling this one for exactly what you want later!  Number of bedrooms and bathrooms is important, especially if your family is growing but, you have to be able to afford it without being “house poor.”  That’s important…

Pick out your dream plan and then work to make it work for your budget.  There is a home for everyone out there; it just might take a minute to find it and make it work.

Third, pick an area where you want to live.  If you’ve lived in Denver awhile, you probably already know.  Next question, can you afford that area?  Gotta be real!  You can start somewhere and move elsewhere… don’t panic; it’ll be okay!

If you’re new to the Denver, don’t rush to buy.  Please, take time to travel the metro area and acquaint yourself.  REMEMBER, it takes easily ½ hour to an hour to get ANYWHERE in the metro area.  No kidding.  And at rush hour, longer.  Locate as close as you feel comfortable to your work area.  It’ll make life a little less stressful.

Fourth, HAVE YOUR FINANCES IN PROPER ORDER!!  KNOW how much you can afford by getting pre-approved by your Lender.  I use Universal Lending – they always get the loan done.   You are not required to use any of the people we discuss, okay?  Have a serious idea of what you WANT to afford every month, not how much you CAN afford every month.  Keep your focus within that range and you’ll be fine.

Last, don’t dig your feet in with “I have to have it just this way” because you might not.  Price is an effective way of setting realistic goals.  I don’t mean that harshly; I mean it truthfully.  Don’t be so set that you miss an opportunity.  Yes, strive to find what you want.  Look at property on line; look around areas you like.  Work to find what you want.  But, don’t overlook what you can make into what you want.  Pricing might be better for you; less pain every month and so on.  Once you find what you want, “PULL THE TRIGGER.”  In this market, it might well be under contract the next day.

If you want, take a friend with you who knows construction.  Ask them to “inspect” it as we tour.   It’ll save you time with your decisions.

If you are one of the lucky ones where all the stars align and you find EXACTLY what you want, DO IT.  If you don’t find exactly what you want, it’s okay.  You can buy what fits the majority of your desires or, we’ll just keep looking.  That’s why your hire a Realtor – we keep working for you.