Tag Archives: selling

De-cluttering Your Home a Little at a Time!

Here are some great tips for de-cluttering your home a little at a time.  Often, when I meet clients that want to list their house for sale, they are overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to get their home “show-ready”.  Most people tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff” over the years they have lived in their homes and the thought of cleaning it all up in a short amount of time can be daunting!

Whether you are planning a move, or just trying to fulfill a New Year’s resolution to de-clutter your home, here are some great tips to get you started! Click on the link at the top of the photo to read the whole article.

 

If you  are interested in selling or buying, I would be happy to help you with your real estate needs!  Please feel free to contact me using the form below or calling 720-201-3049!

 

Talk about taste specific!

Although this is a very cute house and quite a novelty, it is a prime example of going a bit far in the realm of “taste specific” choices.  I am sure that there would be a niche market for a house like this. After all, there are a lot of Lord of the Rings fans out there ( I liked the movies too, and own them all).  But how many fans would actually want to live in a hobbit house on a full-time basis?  I am guessing that not many of even the staunchest Lord of the Rings fans would be willing to go that far.  Maybe as a vacation home-like a fun little cabin in the woods.

As cute as it is though,  I would like to use this little house as a slightly exaggerated example of a pretty common problem- personalization.  The longer we live in even a “normal” style home, the more personalized the tends to become.  In most cases, when you are selling your home, your goal should not be to find a buyer that “wouldn’t change a thing” and that has your same taste and hobbies.  To have a much easier time of selling, you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.  The more people that want to buy your house, the better your chances of getting multiple offers, getting offers sooner, and getting full price or maybe even more than the asking price.  Isn’t that what the real goal when selling your house?

Sellers who “take their taste out of a house” help buyers more easily see themselves in the house, instead of being distracted by things like the seller’s family photos, a chartreuse dining room wall, and things like religious artifacts everywhere, a huge PEZ dispenser collection, and/or Lord of the Rings swords above the fireplace.  (Is the buyer going to be looking at the great fireplace feature of the home- or the cool sword that is probably not even included as part of the sale).

In the case of the Hobbit house in this post, the sword is probably okay!  After all, they are trying to appeal to a very tiny niche of buyers.  But chances are, most of us don’t live in a house that is this unusual.   So the rest of us are going to have better results if we stick to the tried an true rules of selling.  Paint the house in more universally appealing color schemes and present a clean and de-cluttered home that does not have any unfinished projects or repairs needed.  That is the formula for making buyers want to make it their home.

I hope you enjoy this little peek at the Hobbit house- I certainly did.   I think it would be “a nice place to visit”- but like so many buyers that see overly-personalized homes… “I just wouldn’t want to live there”.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I would be happy to help!  Feel free to contact me using the form below!

 

Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with Gravel

Your outdoor space, if properly showcased, can act as additional living space and add to your home’s value upon resale.   Here are some very inviting spaces that other homeowners have created with the use of gravel in their landscape.  Before using gravel in large areas of your landscape, you should always check your city code and any HOA restrictions that might apply to the use of gravel.  Enjoy!

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding adding value to your home, or if you are considering buying or selling a home!

 

You are Invited!

The beautiful house, with incredible views, is having an open house Sunday, May 22 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm!  You are invited to come and take a look in person (slide show below)!  I hope to see you there!

2662 W 118th Ave, Westminster CO  80234

house straight on, hi def

2662 W 118th Ave, Westminster CO 80234         Click Here for more Info and Photos!

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/

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Buying After Foreclosure or Bankruptcy- How Long Until I Am Eligible?

Only a few short years ago, the Denver Market was flooded with short sales and foreclosure properties for sale. The bankruptcy rate in Colorado was still fairly high then. Many people lost their homes during that time and have been renting since then. With the current tight rental market and rising rental rates, they may now be wondering, “How long until I can buy again”?

The answer is “it depends…”. Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Short Sales and Deeds-in-Lieu are all called, “derogatory credit events” in the lending world. The waiting period before you are eligible for a new home loan will vary depending on: which type of “event” you had, the circumstances that lead to it, and the type of loan you want to get for your next house (VA, FHA or Conventional).

The lending world breaks down these events types even further: Foreclosure, Deed-in-Lieu, Short Sale, Multiple Bankruptcies, Chapter 7 Bankruptcies, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies.

VA seems to be the most forgiving of these derogatory credit events. With VA financing, the buyer is eligible for a new loan only one year after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The wait period for the other types of events is only two years.

For FHA, the wait period for Chapter 13 bankruptcies is also after one year of on-time payments and approval from the bankruptcy court. It is 2 years for a person having a Chapter 7 or multiple bankruptcies, and 3 years for a Foreclosure, Deed-in-Lieu, or Short Sale.

Conventional Loans tend to be less forgiving. Wait periods range from 2-7 years depending on the type of event. After the wait period is up, the buyer may also be required to come with a higher down payment amount for their new loan.

The following chart, provided by the Wynn Team with Citywide Loans, provides a “short and sweet” visual summary of the waiting periods required for each circumstance and loan type.  Here is the link to the chart:

Derog Waitng Period for mortgages

Buyers should keep in mind that even if the waiting period has elapsed, lenders still make loan approval decisions based on credit scores and debt-to-income ratios. The waiting period is an added requirement.

If you are ready to buy or sell a home, please contact me!  I would love to help you make that move!  Or, if you have any questions, also please fill out the form below.