THE DOWNSIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME BY YOURSELF – Chris Mygatt, Coldwell Banker

THE DOWNSIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME BY YOURSELF


By Chris Mygatt

Colorado’s real estate market has rebounded sharply in the past several years in the aftermath of the recession, with home prices near or even above their highs of 2007 and 2008. A shortage of listings in many communities is resulting in some homes receiving multiple offers, even over the asking price.

In this kind of a “seller’s market” it’s understandable that some homeowners may believe that they should try selling their home on their own to “save” money. However, do-it-yourself sellers (also known as “For Sale By Owner” or “FSBO”) could end up losing money in the long run – and create lots of headaches in the process.

Here are just a few of the reasons why selling your own home rather than letting a professional do it could cost you time and money in the long run:

  • You may not save as much as you think – if at all. Homes without professional representation often remain on the market longer and end up selling at a lower price than those marketed by a real estate agent. The National Association of REALTORS® found that the typical FSBO home nationwide sold for an average price of $210,000 as compared to the average price of $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales in 2014 (the most recent figures available).
  • Other costs can eat away at any “savings.” While you might save some of the commission cost of a seller’s agent, you may still end up paying 2-3 percent to the buyer’s agent in order to attract a larger pool of buyers. Additionally, the true “savings” may be far less after you add all the other costs associated with selling – advertising, brochures and fliers, for-sale signs, etc.
  • Much time and effort go into selling a home. There’s a reason that just 8 percent of sellers sold their own home last year, according to NAR. It’s hard work! Professional real estate agents develop comprehensive marketing plans, take professional photos, arrange inspections and appraisals, oversee staging, hold open houses, place print and online ads, seek out potential buyers and negotiate with buyers’ agents on price and terms. Homeowners need to ask themselves if they really have the time or expertise to do all of that on their own.
  • Determining the right listing price is critical. Real estate professionals review comparable sales, local market conditions, as well as the pluses and minuses of your home in helping you set the list price. As an owner, you may not have a clear or objective sense of what that price should be. The right list price may get your home multiple offers or a faster sale depending upon what you want. Setting the list price too high may cause potential buyers to not even look at your home.
  • Negotiating against pros. If you try to sell your home on your own, you may end up negotiating with a professional real estate agent working for the buyer whose expertise may cause you to end up selling your home for less money and/or with other contractual terms that may not be in your best interests and could also cost you more in the long run.
  • Limiting your pool of buyers. FSBO properties are often not able to utilize as many of the real estate search engines and websites as properties sold by REALTORS®. This is potentially a significant obstacle in an era when more than 90 percent of buyers start their home search on the Internet, according to NAR. Those selling their own home typically cannot leverage the advertising, marketing and networking resources that are needed to reach the potential buyers that agents are reaching every day.


Even in a good market, properly marketing and selling a home is far more complicated than most people suspect.  It’s very easy for non-professionals to make costly mistakes. Since the sale of one’s home is often the single biggest financial transaction that most of us will ever make in our lives it is critical that it is handled as expertly as possible. When it comes to selling your home, it truly pays to rely on an experienced real estate professional to help guide you through the process.

Chris Mygatt is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. When not overseeing the daily operations of Colorado’s largest real estate and relocation company, Chris enjoys Colorado’s active outdoor lifestyle including cycling, skiing and hiking, and is an avid pilot, sea captain and scuba diver. Chris is also a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Angel Flight, Up with People, Bike Denver and regularly participates in actively helping many other non-profit organizations in Colorado.

Original Source: Colorado Home & Style

 

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Why now may be a good time to sell – by Chris Mygatt

WHY NOW MAY BE A GOOD TIME TO SELL

By Chris Mygatt

If you have been thinking about selling your home but weren’t sure when to do it, there may not be a better time than now.

To be sure, the decision to sell your home greatly depends on your own personal circumstances. However, several factors have combined to make this a good time to think about the possibility of jumping into the market especially if you have been cautiously sitting on the sidelines.

A shortage of listings has created a seller’s market

Over the past few years, the inventory of homes for sale has steadily shrunk – even as the demand from buyers has grown. Nationwide, total inventory stands at a 4.4 month supply, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. But in some of our local markets, available inventory is even lower – in some cases just one to two months supply. To put that in perspective, a balanced market should have approximately six to eight months supply.

Real estate has always been a business of supply and demand. As a result of the limited supply, coupled with continued buyer demand, sellers who list their home now may be in luck. In our market we’ve seen home price increases and multiple offers on many homes – some even significantly above list price.

According to NAR®, that imbalance in supply and demand is not likely to change soon. “The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory, and fierce competition between buyers,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, the NAR® website.

Higher mortgage interest rates may be coming

While mortgage interest rates remain close to historic lows, some industry experts are warning that interest rates will gradually begin to climb. In December, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade and the Fed has signaled it plans to raise rates yet again this year.

The prospect of higher interest rates could actually work to a seller’s advantage – in the short term, at least – by prompting would-be buyers to get into the market before rates go up even further.

“When interest rates are thought to be escalating, we see a wave of activity with people getting off the sidelines,” said Budge Huskey, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Now’s the peak season for selling a home

Homebuyers may want to minimize competition when they hunt for a home in a tight market, but for many sellers, the more buyers the better. According to realtor.com’s analysis of sales, the prime home-buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June.

“Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings,” NAR’s economic experts noted.

Soaring rents prompting more renters to think about buying

Home prices have certainly been rising, but rents may be rising even faster in those cities that are not impacted by rent-control laws; that could motivate tenants to consider home ownership. According to NAR®, rent prices have risen 15% nationwide in the past five years in 70 metro areas across the U.S..

“Every time there’s an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether [renters] should go into the market and buy,” said Huskey. Getting more buyers into the market, especially first-timer homebuyers, can help sellers feel more comfortable about their prospects. “It allows others to move up the chain in the market.”

While this may be a good time to sell your home, the ultimate decision is a complicated one. You will undoubtedly have lots of questions – how much your home might be worth, how best to market it, and, if you’re staying in the area, where to look for your next home. Coldwell Banker is ready to answer all your questions about selling your home and the next steps that will follow after that decision is made. 

A real estate veteran with more than two decades of experience, Chris Mygatt is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. When not overseeing the daily operations of Colorado’s largest real estate and relocation company, Chris enjoys Colorado’s active outdoor lifestyle including cycling, skiing and hiking, and is an avid pilot, sea captain and scuba diver. Chris is also a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Angel Flight, Up with People, Bike Denver and regularly participates in actively helping many other non-profit organizations in Colorado.

Original Source: Colorado Home & Style

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Coldwell Banker, Chris Mygatt – Why Listing Your Home Over the Holidays May Be a Smart Move

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Conventional wisdom may tell us that the holidays are not the best time to try to sell your home. After all, many buyers are busy with family activities and holiday gatherings, so they put off shopping for a home until after New Year’s, right? That may be true, but the fact is that there are still lots of potential buyers out there looking at this time of year and now may be a surprisingly good time to list your home for several reasons.

1. Strong Sellers’ Market
Many of our local communities have experienced a robust sellers’ market this year with prices often rising and, in some cases, homes are selling with multiple offers. Not all buyers magically disappear when the weather starts to cool down. There continues to be a shortage of good properties this time of year to satisfy the existing demand from well-qualified buyers.

2. Less Competition
It’s true that many sellers decide to wait until after the first of the year – or even until springtime – to list their home. For some it is difficult to deal with selling during the holidays given all the various time constraints and pressures that can develop. However, the reluctance of some to sell during the holiday season could also be advantageous for sellers who can remain more flexible. With even fewer homes on the market, there is less competition for buyers’ attention so your home may have an even better opportunity to stand out.

3. Motivated Buyers
The buyers who are looking for a property over the holidays tend to be more serious about finding a home. They may be trying to close before the end of this year for tax purposes or they may be relocating to a new job that starts in early 2016. Whatever their personal reason, it is possible that the buyers who are looking at this time of year may be more motivated to find their new home as soon as possible.

4. Homes Look Better
Homes naturally look warm and cozy during the holidays with colorful decorations inside and out. The positive psychological effect that this festive image may have on potential buyers may help them in picturing their own holiday gatherings in your home. Just make sure not to go overboard on the decorations, which might hide the beauty and space of your home. Tasteful decorations and a minimum of clutter are always keys to enhancing a home’s appearance.

5. Buyers are Always Looking
In the past, home buying meant getting into a car and driving to each home for several hours, usually during the daylight hours – which is not an activity that most people want to do over the busy holiday season. Thanks to the Internet, mobile devices and smart phones, that time consuming process has changed. Most buyers now start their search online, a process that can occur at any time during the day or night. Technology has made the home search process less time-intensive, and as a result has helped lengthen the traditional buying and selling seasons from spring and summer to year-round.

6. Holidays Give Hectic Buyers Time to Shop
Our hectic lifestyles may also play a role in the changing dynamics of house hunting. In many cases, buyers are too busy with daily responsibilities to really focus on home shopping during much of the year. For some, it may not be until the holiday season that they can finally find some “down time” to focus on new listings, start visiting properties and put the home-buying process into overdrive.

The holidays can be a time of excitement and good cheer. What better time to show off your warm, cozy and festive home to potential buyers? By listing your home at this time of year you may receive the best present this holiday season – a sold sign on the front lawn!

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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October Reality Check – Chris Mygatt: Tips for home sellers as the fall buying season begins

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It probably comes as no surprise to most people that the Colorado housing market has been hot lately, especially for sellers. The limited inventory of homes for sale in many areas, combined with solid demand from buyers, has tilted the market in the seller’s favor. In some communities it’s not unusual to see multiple offers for homes and bids over the asking price.

But even in this kind of a market, sellers can still get the short end of the stick if they aren’t careful. As we kick off the fall home buying season, listing your home right now may be a great idea given the high demand for properties and shortage of listings. But it is important to take certain steps to help make the home selling process go more smoothly and to enable you to get the best results possible.

Here are a few tips that might help:

1. Pick a highly qualified real estate professional to get the job done. Selling is a big decision with significant financial and emotional components. It can pay to find a professional REALTOR® with experience in your area and a thorough knowledge of the market and selling strategies. They can help ease the work and stress that goes into selling a home and help you achieve your goals.

2. Be the buyer. We all think our home is great. After all, it’s where we live and have created so many memories. But when you think about how to price and show your home, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and be a bit pickier about your home’s appearance. Critically assess how your home compares to other homes in your area and ask yourself what would you be willing to pay for it if you had others to choose from?

3. Don’t push your luck on pricing. It’s natural to think that anyone who enters your home during an open house or other broker showings would be willing to pay top dollar. However pricing a home too high above the current market could turn away buyers and increase the possibility that the home will sit on the market for a longer period of time. Depending upon the market, you may end up having to lower the asking price at a later point in time to be able to sell.

4. Too low of a price can backfire, too. Listing your home below market price may draw in more potential buyers and may increase the possibility that you will receive multiple offers. However setting the asking price too much below the current market comes with some risks as well. You might not get as many offers as you think, and the best offer might be lower than you had planned. Buyers might also become skeptical about buying a home that is listed well below the rest of the market.

5. Keep an eye on the competition. Going to other open houses can give you a better sense of how your home compares to others on the market. Looking at the upgrades in their kitchens, the amenities throughout their home, and the size of their yards can help you gauge where your home fits in the local market spectrum.

6. Make a good first impression. Help homebuyers imagine themselves living in your home by taking down family photos and mementos, removing large or clunky furniture, and generally decluttering your home. Consider using a professional stager who can clear out the clutter and find just the right furniture for each room. Don’t forget to clean up the yard, prune back bushes, and plant attractive flowers. Even in a seller’s market, making the right impression can help get a better price.

7. The highest offer isn’t always the best offer. It may be tempting to simply accept the highest offer for your home in a multiple offer situation, but sometimes it’s better to go with a lower one depending upon the other terms in the offer. All cash buyers and those with very large down payments who have been pre-approved for the loan balance may be stronger candidates to be able to actually close. Additionally, buyers who take your needs into account in their offer, such as allowing you to retain possession of the property for a short period of time after escrow closes may be providing a better over-all proposal for your needs.

This may be a great time to sell your home, but there are ways of making the most of the opportunity in this market. If you have been thinking about selling your home, I’m ready to help. Please give me a call or email me today and we’ll get started!

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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Home Buying Tips In A Seller’s Market – Coldwell Banker, September 2015

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Anyone who has tried to buy a home lately knows that it can be very challenging. Historically low mortgage rates have brought Colorado homebuyers out in force. At the same time, there is a limited inventory of homes for sale. Resale listings are at their lowest level in many years and homebuilders are just now starting to replenish their supply of new construction.

All of those factors have led to a seller’s market in many parts of Colorado. Homebuyers are competing with each other for the relatively few listings on the market, leading to multiple offers in many cases – sometimes as many as a dozen or more – and sale prices climbing above the asking price.

Trying to buy a home in a seller’s market can be frustrating, but there are ways to increase your chances of success. Here are some tips that may turn the odds in your favor:

Work With an Experienced, Knowledgeable REALTOR®
In a hot seller’s market, the selling process tends to move much faster than normal. As a buyer, you often have to move quickly as well, while still making prudent decisions about the home purchase. An experienced, knowledgeable real estate professional will know the neighborhood, the pluses and minuses of the home, what the sellers are looking for in an offer and how to improve your chances to come out on top in a competitive market.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
This is different from pre-qualifying, as it is a full loan approval instead of simply an opinion letter. Being pre-approved may put you in a better negotiating position, as the seller knows the buyer is ready, willing and able to buy, and the financing is not in question.

Be Prepared to Act Quickly When You Find the Right Home
Time is of the essence in this market. Winning buyers often act fast while those who wait may lose out. So after finding a home you like in your price range, don’t wait too long before making an offer. The longer you wait, the greater the chances are that other potential buyers will visit the home and decide they want to make an offer, too.

Make a List of Must-Haves vs. Want-to-Haves
What do you really want in a home and what can you live without? Sure, we all want the home of our dreams, but we have to be willing to adjust. Before you begin shopping, make a list of must-haves and want-to-haves. This will help your agent narrow down the list of properties you’ll be seeing and help both of you move quickly when you find the right one.

Make a Strong, Competitive Bid
In a seller’s market, homeowners may receive several offers, so make sure yours is strong by working with your agent to decide what a fair price for the home is and how to craft the best offer. If your initial offer is too low, you may be out of the running before you even get started.

Be Flexible in Your Offer
Sometimes it’s not the highest bid that wins in a competitive market. If you can offer a larger down payment or even be flexible about when you move in, you might be able to increase your chances. Sellers looking to buy another home themselves may even welcome the opportunity to retain possession of the home after escrow closes for an agreed upon period of time.

Write a Letter to the Sellers
Many sellers are receiving multiple offers these days. Sometimes a personal letter about why you want to buy their home can make your offer stand out. This may be an opportunity to make a favorable impression on the hearts of the sellers and move ahead of other bidders.

Don’t Give Up!
Trying to buy a home these days isn’t easy. In a seller’s market, the chances are that some of your initial offers will be rejected and you can’t take it personally. It’s just part of the process. Don’t give up! While it can be frustrating, the search won’t last forever.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, I’d be happy to answer any of your questions and help you find the right home for you. Please give me a call or email me and we’ll get started today!

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate

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Should you rent or buy?

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“To buy or to rent?” That seems to be the question lots of people are wrestling with these days with interest rates still near historic lows and the housing market continuing to gain strength in most communities.

Recent graduates, thirty-somethings, relocating professionals and even current homeowners have probably considered both scenarios recently. While each option has its pluses and minuses, the decision to purchase a home as opposed to renting is a complex one and really depends a lot on your individual circumstances.

According to a recent survey conducted for the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly eight out of 10 respondents believe buying a home today is a good financial decision. But the question that remains is whether or not now is the right time for you to buy.

For most people, buying a home is the biggest financial decision they will make in their lifetime. Here are just a few things to consider when deciding between renting and buying:

  • Do you have a steady income? Buying may be a sound financial decision for those with documented income and a good credit history. A steady income can provide a strong basis for the initial down payment and future mortgage payments. Lenders will look at your ability to repay the mortgage and how positive your credit history is when deciding if you qualify for a loan.
  • Can you cover the other expenses? When you own a single family home, you – not your landlord –will be responsible for all of the maintenance and repairs, everything from a leaky faucet to replacing a roof. Will you have enough money left over in your budget each month (after paying the mortgage, property taxes and insurance) to cover any repair issues that may pop up?
  • How long do you plan to stay in your home? Although homes often appreciate over time in most areas and many owners build equity through monthly mortgage payments that go towards the principal of the loan, values can go up or down during any period of time. Generally, the longer you plan on staying in your home, the more likely that buying may be the right move for you.
  • How much will your rent increase in the future? Obviously no one knows for sure what the future will bring, but a recent study by Trulia found that rents on average are increasing faster than home prices. In fact, homeownership remains 38% cheaper than renting nationally, and it’s less expensive in all of the 100 largest metro areas studied by Trulia. But each neighborhood and each home are different, so it’s important to do your homework.
  • How do your other options compare? For renters, calculating month-to-month housing expenses is as easy as inquiring about the monthly rent and average utilities. The calculation gets a bit more complicated when considering the monthly cost and benefits of owning a home. Buy-versus-rent calculators, which are available on websites such as ColdwellBanker.com, offer a good start in comparing the two options.

There is a lot to consider when weighing the pros and cons of buying a home, and you’ll likely have a lot of questions. The best thing that you can do before making a decision is to do your homework and become better educated on your options. I’m here to help answer your questions and find the right course for you. Give me a call or send me an email and we can get started today.

 

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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Chris Mygatt – Tips for getting your home ready to sell – March 2015

With the spring homebuying season just around the corner, you may be thinking about putting your home up for sale. Now may be the time to list your home with strong demand from buyers and a limited number of properties on the market in most areas.

If you’re kicking around the idea of selling, you may be worried that there’s too much to do to get your house ready to market. But a few simple, relatively inexpensive steps can make a big difference when it comes time to show off your home to prospective buyers.

Many sellers use a professional “stager” to help make their home really look its best and get the greatest possible interest from buyers. These are the folks that make those model homes look so neat and beautiful with their arrangements of furniture, accessories, and gardens.

Using a professional stager may be the right move for you. But regardless of whether you decide to hire a stager or not, it may be appropriate to think like one when it comes time to get your home ready to put on the market:

  • Maximize Curb Appeal: The old saying is true: you only get once chance to make a good first impression. Make sure that the outside of your home looks as appealing as possible. Water and mow the lawn, trim the trees, cut back overgrowth and plant colorful flowers in the front and back.
  • Clear the Clutter: When it comes to staging, less is more. Having fewer things filling the rooms makes your home look both neater and roomier. It allows buyers to more easily visualize their own furnishings there. Be sure to store bicycles, gardening equipment, and children’s and pet’s toys. Also move any cars from the driveway and along the curb in front of your home.
  • Focus on the Living Areas First: A living room is an area in which potential buyers should be able to envision themselves entertaining friends or gathering with their family. With that in mind, consider making the area appear as large and functional as possible by removing any unnecessary furniture and decorations.
  • Make Your Home Anonymous: Of course you’re proud of your family, but now is not the time to show their pictures and mementos. Stow away family photos, trophies, collectibles and any other personal items. You want buyers to imagine their families in the house, and that’s hard to do with constant reminders of your family. This process can also help you declutter.
  • Make Necessary Repairs: Look at your house with a critical eye. The last thing you want potential buyers to see are chipped tiles in the bathroom, a faucet that doesn’t work, or burned out bulbs in light fixtures. All systems and appliances should be in good working condition.
  • Consider Cosmetic Improvements: Simple, cosmetic touch-ups like painting, wallpapering, adding new light fixtures, and minor landscaping, can really help a home show better. If you paint, make sure it’s in a neutral color. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these projects to help make your home look its best but remember that if there are any problems these must be disclosed to potential buyers whether or not the problems have been remediated.
  • Give Your Home a Good Cleaning: This can be the most cost-effective thing you do in prepping your home for sale. Potential buyers will want to inspect every part of your home, from the kitchen to the bathrooms to the garage. After removing any clutter, clean the inside of the house from top to bottom. Clean carpets, spotless kitchens and bathrooms, and tidy bedrooms can help make a positive impression.
  • Add a Few Final Touches: When stagers are through decluttering a home they finish by adding a few carefully selected items for beauty – a painting in the living room, fresh flowers in the kitchen, an accent pillow for the sofa, or maybe an area rug for the bedroom.

Preparing your home for sale doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, costly endeavor. By making a few simple changes you can help make a difference when it comes time to sell. A professional REALTOR® can help you through this process and have your home ready to list in no time! Give me a call and we’ll get started today.

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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Reality Check, March 2015 – Chris Mygatt

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With the spring homebuying season just around the corner, you may be thinking about putting your home up for sale. Now may be the time to list your home with strong demand from buyers and a limited number of properties on the market in most areas.

If you’re kicking around the idea of selling, you may be worried that there’s too much to do to get your house ready to market. But a few simple, relatively inexpensive steps can make a big difference when it comes time to show off your home to prospective buyers.

Many sellers use a professional “stager” to help make their home really look its best and get the greatest possible interest from buyers. These are the folks that make those model homes look so neat and beautiful with their arrangements of furniture, accessories, and gardens.

Using a professional stager may be the right move for you. But regardless of whether you decide to hire a stager or not, it may be appropriate to think like one when it comes time to get your home ready to put on the market:

  • Maximize Curb Appeal: The old saying is true: you only get once chance to make a good first impression. Make sure that the outside of your home looks as appealing as possible. Water and mow the lawn, trim the trees, cut back overgrowth and plant colorful flowers in the front and back.
  • Clear the Clutter: When it comes to staging, less is more. Having fewer things filling the rooms makes your home look both neater and roomier. It allows buyers to more easily visualize their own furnishings there. Be sure to store bicycles, gardening equipment, and children’s and pet’s toys. Also move any cars from the driveway and along the curb in front of your home.
  • Focus on the Living Areas First: A living room is an area in which potential buyers should be able to envision themselves entertaining friends or gathering with their family. With that in mind, consider making the area appear as large and functional as possible by removing any unnecessary furniture and decorations.
  • Make Your Home Anonymous: Of course you’re proud of your family, but now is not the time to show their pictures and mementos. Stow away family photos, trophies, collectibles and any other personal items. You want buyers to imagine their families in the house, and that’s hard to do with constant reminders of your family. This process can also help you declutter.
  • Make Necessary Repairs: Look at your house with a critical eye. The last thing you want potential buyers to see are chipped tiles in the bathroom, a faucet that doesn’t work, or burned out bulbs in light fixtures. All systems and appliances should be in good working condition.
  • Consider Cosmetic Improvements: Simple, cosmetic touch-ups like painting, wallpapering, adding new light fixtures, and minor landscaping, can really help a home show better. If you paint, make sure it’s in a neutral color. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these projects to help make your home look its best but remember that if there are any problems these must be disclosed to potential buyers whether or not the problems have been remediated.
  • Give Your Home a Good Cleaning: This can be the most cost-effective thing you do in prepping your home for sale. Potential buyers will want to inspect every part of your home, from the kitchen to the bathrooms to the garage. After removing any clutter, clean the inside of the house from top to bottom. Clean carpets, spotless kitchens and bathrooms, and tidy bedrooms can help make a positive impression.
  • Add a Few Final Touches: When stagers are through decluttering a home they finish by adding a few carefully selected items for beauty – a painting in the living room, fresh flowers in the kitchen, an accent pillow for the sofa, or maybe an area rug for the bedroom.

Preparing your home for sale doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, costly endeavor. By making a few simple changes you can help make a difference when it comes time to sell. A professional REALTOR® can help you through this process and have your home ready to list in no time! Give me a call and we’ll get started today.

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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A Look Ahead to the 2015 Housing Market

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Home sales across Colorado and all around the country were slowed in 2014, in large part by a shortage of properties on the market. That same dynamic pushed home prices much higher in many areas, even leading to multiple offers and bids over asking price for some homes.

But as we begin 2015, many industry experts are forecasting a more balanced and normalized housing market, one that sees home sales rising once again and price increases moderating as more homes come on the market for sale.

If the forecasts hold true, this could be welcome news for potential homebuyers, many of whom may have missed out on purchasing last year due to limited inventory, rising prices and bidding wars in some communities.

Nationwide, the National Association of REALTORS® expects that existing home sales will be higher this year and prices will remain at a “healthier level of growth that should benefit both buyers and sellers.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR®, forecasts that existing-home sales in 2014 are expected to be 4.9 million, and then increase to 5.3 million in 2015 and 5.4 million in 2016. He expects the national median existing-home price will rise four percent in 2015 and another four percent in 2016. His prediction is based upon more homes on the market, greater consumer confidence and continued pent-up demand.

“The improving job market has consumers feeling more confident, and the rebound in home prices is building household wealth for homeowners and giving them the ability to sell after waiting the last few years,” Yun said.

According to a recent article in REALTOR® magazine, 2015 should present first-time homebuyers with a good opportunity to jump into the housing market after largely staying away since the housing crisis but this prediction may not be true in all areas of the country.

“In 2015, increases in employment opportunities will empower younger buyers to return to the market and fuel the continued housing recovery,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for REALTOR.com®. “If access to credit improves, we could see substantially larger numbers of young buyers in the market.”

The reemergence of first time buyers is one of several forecasts for 2015 made by REALTOR.com®, including:

  • Millennials driving household formation. Households headed by Millennials are expected to see significant growth in 2015, particularly if the economy continues to make gains.
  • Existing-home sales rising. Distressed properties will make up a smaller share of that growth as investor purchases continue to play a diminishing role in the market.
  • Mortgage rates to inch up to five percent. Rates are expected to increase as the Federal Reserve increases its target rate. This could lead to an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of five percent by the end of 2015. (It averaged just under four percent in mid-December, according to Freddie Mac.)

REALTOR® magazine said housing affordability may fall slightly in 2015 due to home-price appreciation and rising mortgage interest rates, but any decline in affordability will probably be offset by an increase in salaries next year for many households. “When considering historical norms, housing affordability will continue to remain strong next year,” the magazine notes.

So if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, 2015 may finally be your chance to jump into the housing market. With rates still near historically low levels and more homes expected to come on the market in the coming year, this may be your opportunity to find the home you’ve been waiting for. I’m ready to help. Please give me a call or send me an email and we’ll get started today.

©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. Nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship. Any affiliation by you with the Company is intended to be that of an independent contractor sales associate.

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