Curb Appeal: Is it worth the investment?

Here’s an article specifically talking about the value of curb appeal, from a dollars and cents perspective.  It even breaks it down to what trees and fencing are worth. Most landscaping (as with any home project) should be done for your own enjoyment, but it does add to the value of your home, either in the form of a faster sale or in the form of a higher sales price when you decide to sell.   Some experts believe that mature landscaping can add up to 25% to the value of your home.  If you have been thinking of sprucing up your exterior- have a look at this link!  It may give you some good ideas of where to invest your money.
http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/landscaping-gardening/landscaping-home-value/

 

 

 

Water Rights Issues in Colorado!

Thinking of buying property with a well or water rights in Colorado?

The Colorado Association of Realtors hosted a training session on the issues surrounding water rights.  The video below includes a presentation from the Department of Water Resources that provides information you ought to know before buying property where you may want to use a source of water other than that supplied by a municipality (E.g.- water sources such as wells, streams, ditches, ponds, reservoirs, rain barrels, etc..).  The video also gives you information on resources you can use to determine if any water rights that come with the property are permitted for your intended use.   The video on wells and water rights is a little “dry” (no pun intended)- but it’s pretty important information to know before you buy…

The actual presentation by the Department on Water Resources starts at around minute 7:38, so unless you want to watch some advertisements that only a Real Estate Brokers would possibly care about, you might want to start watching at the 7:38 minute point in the video.

Click below to see the video and enjoy!

http://livestream.com/accounts/4105485/events/4683965/player?width=560&height=315&autoPlay=true&mute=false

New Listing- 14366 Blue Vista Way

4 Bedroom,  2.5 Baths,  2,320 Above grade sqft, 941 unfinished basement sqft

Status: ACTIVE

Asking Price:  $460,000

This 2-story home is on a cul-de-sac lot. The home has hickory wood floors, and a well designed kitchen with 42″ hickory cabinetry, a pantry, a kitchen island and stainless steel appliances included. The kitchen is open to an eat-in area and the family room w/gas fireplace, 2-story vaulted ceiling, pre-wired surround sound!  All bedrooms are on the same floor!   Formal dining room, study and main floor laundry. Sprinklers front and back. Back yard is flat and fully fenced and pre-wired for speakers. New furnace in 2014. Garage is oversized 2.5 car.

Click below for photo slide show:

For more information Contact Joan Bagwell: joan@joanbagwell.com or fill out the contact form below.

New Listing- 11852 Columbine St, Thornton

3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom , Tri-Level Home,  1,871 Finished sqft!

Status: Active

$319,000

Granite kitchen counters, laminate flooring in living rm & Fam rm. New carpet in basement, ceramic tile in kit & baths, Kitchen appliances included. Finished basement, bonus room and lg laundry rm. Newly stained decks, sprinkler system front & back, storage shed. New paint & blinds throughout!  NO HOA!  Neutral colors. Clean & move-in ready!  Property is sold “as-is”. The seller will do no further work.  Showings begin Tues 07/28/15! Buyer to verify all information.

Click Photo for slideshow:

Contact Joan for further information, by filling out the form below, or by calling 720-201-3049:

Open Houses are Risky Business! Are They Worth It?

Almost every time I have spoken with homeowners about ways to market their house for sale,  I have been asked if I do open houses to find buyers.  My answer to that question is “very rarely”. 

At that point, many sellers seem shocked and surprised.  Maybe it is from watching real estate “reality” shows on TV,  but there seems to be a belief that filling the house with the smell of freshly baked cookies and potpourri, and putting out an open house sign draws in hordes of qualified buyers and inevitably results in getting an offer at the end of the day.

Despite what you may see on reality TV, it is not the reality I have experienced.  Here is why I do not include open houses in my usual list of marketing tasks:

1.  For the most part, open houses don’t draw in actual buyers.  They draw in curious neighbors and people who happen to be passing by and see the open house sign.  Think about the times that you have seen a neighbor’s house being held open.  When you stop and go in, chances are you are doing so because you are curious to see how their house compares to yours and what they are asking for it.  Most neighbors are not actually looking to buy their neighbor’s house.  With only 7% of homebuyers buying a home that they first saw at an open house, it is not the most effective way to market the home.  It’s like fishing in a pond with 100 fish in it, but only 7 of them are hungry enough to bite.  And you only have 2-3 hours (the average length of an open house) to find those 7 hungry fish…  what are the odds?

2.  A recent survey of homebuyers by the National Association of Realtors shows that roughly 90% of homes are purchased by buyers using a real estate brokers.  Real Estate brokers generally set private showing appointments for their buyers, at times that are convenient to the buyer.  Using a Broker is much faster and more efficient than driving neighborhoods on the weekends looking for open houses.

3.  When you open your house to anyone passing by, you don’t really know who is coming into your home or why they are there!  Sure, there may be a sign-in sheet, but many people will not sign in and when they do, they give fictitious information because they don’t want the broker contacting them afterward.  When a real estate broker shows your home, most of the time (depending on the broker) they have pre-screened the potential buyer.  Most brokers will require the buyer be pre-approved with a lender prior to showing them homes.  The lender’s preapproval would include: pulling the buyer’s credit report (which requires a social security number), and getting a copy of the buyer’s driver license, tax returns, paystubs, bank statements, etc.  The preapproval process helps verify that the buyer is who they say they are.  The fact that the buyer has gone through the application process shows that they are serious buyers and not just “looking”.

4. Open houses can present a risk to the seller’s property.   Below is a recent notice (April 2015) to real estate brokers that I found on the IRES website (IRES is one of the MLS’s that serves the Denver metro and Northern Colorado areas).

“Crime Alert from the Colorado Real Estate Commission – Denver police report burglaries of listed homes after holding an open house

The Division of Real Estate has been made aware of criminal activities taking place at open houses listed for sale.   The Denver Police Department has received reports of homes listed for sale being burglarized over the last couple of weeks.  All the homes involved had held an open house and were later burglarized.  Thieves are attending the open house during the day and scouting out ways to gain access; later returning and burglarizing the home. This is an important reminder to take extra precautions with homes you are listing and opening up to the public.  Law enforcement recommends developing a good process for checking and ensuring all access points to the home are secured.  Denver Police are urging everyone to be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious at homes listed for sale.  If you see suspicious activity or a home that looks like it may have been burglarized, please contact your local Police Department through its non-emergency number.”

5. Open House can be dangerous for the person holding the open house (the homeowner or their broker).  I am sure your mother told you when you were a child to never get in the car with a stranger.  The same principle applies when being alone in a house with a stranger.  Always know who you are dealing with and whether they are a serious, pre-approved buyer.  Your goal is to sell your house, but not at the risk of your life and safety.  I don’t mean to be a fear-monger, but if you are too trusting or allow yourself to be alone in a house with an un-screened “buyer”, the result could be hazardous to your health  and even fatal.  Here are some very real stories in the news in the past few years that illustrate the point:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/open-638200-attack-agents.html

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/03/17/ariz-agent-warns-about-open-house-attack

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/real-estate-broker-78-attacked-at-home-west-of-yakima/

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/10/21/alert-new-string-attacks-against-agents

You can search the internet and find many  more horrifying tales of attacks on people trying to sell real estate.  So- to go back to the question posed in the title of this post- in my opinion, given the low probability (7%) of actually finding your buyer through the open house, and the risks to personal safety and property, I would say that the benefit does not out weight the risk.

If, after reading all of this,  you still want to bake cookies and breakout the potpourri , please check out these safety tips for holding an open house, from the National Association of Realtors  ( http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/open-house-safety-tips).  If you are interested in selling your home and would like the professional assistance of a real estate broker,  I would be happy to help!  Please contact me using the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automate your Denver Home Search!

Most people are unaware that sellers determine how their homes are advertised when they are listed for sale.  Sellers determine whether the home is to be listed only in their Broker’s MLS or whether it is to be syndicated, or shared with multiple publicly accessible websites.   Therefore, because not all listings in the MLS are shared with the publicly accessible sites, your search results on these sites may not include all homes currently on the market.

If you would like to receive information on all listings in the Denver Metro/Boulder and Northern Colorado Broker’s MLS, I can set up an automated search for you, based on your specific criteria.  The search runs daily and you will be notified via email when a property comes on the market that matches your criteria.  You will also be notified of price drops and changes in status, such as when a property goes under contract or comes back on the market if it has previously been under contract.

You will be able to access all available photos, tours, and detailed information on a free personal website I will set up for you.  On your free personal website, you will also be able to rate each property according to your interest level.  You will continue to have access to the properties in your search results history for as long as the properties remain on the market.  This website can also be used by homeowners who want to keep track of the sales activity in their own neighborhoods.

If you are thinking of buying a home, the automated notification system, definitely gives you an edge over other buyers looking for properties. It allows you to see each new listing as soon as it becomes available, without having to make the time to do the search yourself.  It’s faster, and much more convenient.  Having the free personal website helps you organize your search results, and makes it easier to go back and have another look at the properties that you liked, without having to run another manual internet search and sift through pages and pages of properties that you have already ruled out.

If you would like to receive the automated notifications of new listings, along with your free search results website, please fill out and submit the contact form below.  Or, if you prefer to use the manual search method on one of the public sites, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about any of the properties that you find in your search!