Monday, August 30, 2010

How to be a great Seller in a tough market

We all know it’s a tough time to be a Seller. Many who are selling right now are doing it because they have to, for one reason or another, not just because they want to. Whatever your reason for selling, here are some tips to be as effective and efficient as possible, so you can get your house sold quickly and move on.

The most important thing to understand is that once you put a “for sale” sign in the yard, it’s no longer your home – it’s a house, that someone else is going to buy and make their home. Let go of the emotional attachment. Take pictures, video, whatever you need to sustain those memories, and then let it go. No one is going to pay a premium because you loved raising your children there. The idea is to start looking at your house like a product that you are trying to sell.

Get the house ready – Clean, de-clutter, and remove most personal items such as family photos, paperwork, children’s artwork, etc. The goal is to make the house as neutral as possible, so a potential buyer can picture their own things in the house.

Get organized – Pull together all important paperwork: surveys, maps, house plans, manuals, warranties, list of contractors/utilities, etc. These things are invaluable to a buyer – and showing that you kept files of these items also shows that you have attention to detail and took care of the property while you lived there. Have these documents available for buyers to peruse at showings.

Price it right – Can’t emphasize this one enough. This is the number one “make it or break it” item – price too high, and you won’t sell. Period.

Make it easy to show – Please, let people show your house. I know it’s inconvenient to keep it clean, shuffle kids and pets, etc. And unfortunately, not all agents plan ahead and give as much notice as you would like. But the more you let it be shown, the sooner it will sell. Understand that agents are trying to sell your house – so let them bring their clients in!

Be helpful and available to answer questions – I just closed a transaction (representing the buyer) where the seller was amazing and willing to answer endless questions about the property. This immediately put my client at ease and therefore the entire transaction ran smoothly.

It’s a tough, competitive market. Make sure that you are doing everything possible to make your house stand out against the competition!

Jennifer Fly
(303) 443-3377

Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Twitter: @jenflycolorado

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why would I want to be a homeowner?

There has been a lot of tough news coming out this week about the real estate market and overall economy in general. Everywhere you look you see dismal statistics and talk about things like depreciation, record housing inventory levels, foreclosures, shadow inventory, and many experts questioning if buying a house is still a good investment.

Unfortunately, the recent real estate boom (and resulting bust) has skewed our perception about what owning a home really means. Sure - we would all love it if we could continue to experience huge appreciation and growing equity just by paying our mortgage each month. But what about the less tangible benefits of homeownership?

An August 2010 report by the National Association of Realtors discussed the Social Benefits of Housing. Some of the findings include statistics that show that family units in houses with homeowners (versus houses with renters) experience:

- A higher rate of teens staying in school
- A lower rate of teen pregnancy
- Higher educational achievement (and higher earnings as a result)
- Higher civic participation in the local community

Of course there is an even more personal side to our homes. In our homes we build our lives with our partners, raise our children, play with our pets. We celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and all those major life milestones. We cook, garden, entertain, decorate, and relax. Our homes are our sanctuary - the place we can go to feel safety, security, and unconditional love. We make memories in those little moments of our everyday lives: in the meals and laundry and homework.

So maybe you aren't going to experience double-digit appreciation on your home in the future. Maybe you won't be able to refinance and take out a new loan that is 105% of the value to buy a shiny new car or take a a European vacation. But that doesn't mean that we should all give up on homeownership. Let's not forget all the other benefits that we experience as homeowners every single day.

Jennifer Fly

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Twitter: @jenflycolorado

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Aug 9-15, 2010

There is volatility in the real estate market right now, and an abundance of conflicting news reports and statistics that may be confusing to buyers and sellers.  At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are committed to knowing OUR local market and giving our clients and friends the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

To that end, periodically we will highlight the week's real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties, and let you know what is selling, at what prices, and how long these properties are taking to sell.

For the week of August 9-15, 2010 here are the numbers:

  • 83 properties sold
  • Price range of properties sold during this period: $110,000 - $875,000
  • Median price: $360,000
  • Average price: $386,986

 Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

Clearly the high end of the market is taking a beating.  Bad news for sellers, but great news for qualified buyers looking for bargains.  

Takeaway for this Week - DON'T overprice your home!  Of course neither you or your realtor want to leave money on the table, but the Kelly Road property is a perfect example of what happens when you make the mistake of overpricing.  Your property sits and sits, and gets stigmatized.  When and IF it finally sells, it will sell FAR below what it might have if it was priced correctly to begin with.  My guess on this one is that it might have sold in the high $700's or even low $800's if priced appropriately in 2008.

Action Items, Do's and Don'ts -  Sellers: interview several listing agents, and tell them to give you the honest truth about what your property is worth.  And DON'T make them feel bad for being honest!  If you need to sell now, you can't afford to have someone blowing cherry smoke in your face.  DON'T list with the realtor who tells you what you hoped to hear (i.e. the highest price); instead DO list with the realtor who gives you the most concrete set of facts, has the most effective marketing plan, and sets realistic expectations.  Agree with your realtor to price position your property to obtain a sale in 90 days or less.

Pam Metzger
Director of Business Development and Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors