Moving with Pets

Moving can be a stressful time. It is stressful for everyone in the household from adults, kids, and even pets. How do you make the process easier for your furry, feathered or scaly friend? As humans we can use our brains and adjust emotionally to the disruption that is involved in a move. Our pets do not have that ability. Pets do not understand why we are putting things in boxes. This makes process is difficult for them. Fortunately animals are pretty resilient. What should you do to make it less stressful?

How do you make this stress free?

Our pets are creatures of habit and find comfort in routine and familiarity. One helpful tip to make the transition to a new home easier for your pets is to make sure that you take your furry friend to the new house for a visit, before the move. Let your pet spend time in the new environment, sniff things out and inspect the new place. Create a special place for your pet that has familiar toys and maybe even their bed. Each time they come to the new house they can find comfort in the new surroundings knowing that there are familiar things there too. All of this will help them feel more comfortable come moving day!

Moving day has arrived

Make sure that you have a plan for your pet for moving day. Careful planning can make all of the difference. It is best that your pet not be there during the moving process. Moving day is chaotic. Make sure that they have a safe environment for moving day. Make sure that you have your pet’s food, water, medications, toys and bedding with you so that your pet can settle in without interruption. Cats will need to be placed in a secure room, like a bathroom so that they can gradually get use to the new surroundings. Birds and retiles need special care to ensure that their cages and terrariums are secure and temperature controlled. Small pets like rabbitWhat do you do after moving day to make the new place home for your pet?

Moving is complete

After moving day anticipate possible behavior changes in your pet. Your animal may have a decreased appetite, hiding, aggression or other unusual habits. Recognize the signs and provide extra love and attention to help your pet adjust to the new home. Moving with pets can be stressful. Make sure that you take the time to make it as easy on your pet as possible. Home should be a sweet place for everyone.

When Your Home Won’t Sell

You have had your home on the market for awhile and you have had a few showings but no offers. When your home won’t sell what do you do? You have two choices, improve the condition or change the price. But there is another idea that just might work for you.

Market Challenges

One of the challenges of our current market is that buyers have lost their purchasing power. What they could afford a few months ago, they cannot no longer buy because interest rates have made that same house unaffordable. For example a $300,000 mortgage used to cost buyers $1,260 a month. That same mortgage today can cost that same buyer $1,800 a month. That makes a huge difference in whether or not a buyer can buy and at what price they can be shopping for their next home.

What Can You Do?

An image of a front door to describe how you can entice buyers When Your Home Won’t Sell

What can you as a seller do to make this situation any better for you when you are trying to sell your home. Here is an idea. Your home is currently on the market for $565,000. What if you offer a $10,000 credit to the buyer for them to buy the interest rate down? What help does that provide the buyer? Let’s look and find out. The buyer is paying full price for your home. They are putting 20% down to purchase. That makes their loan amount $452,000. The going interest rate is currently 5%. IF you credit your buyer the $10,000 to buy their rate down, their interest rate will be 4% and that will save them $400 a month on their payment. That is $4,800 a year and that is almost $10,000 in two years.

When Your Home Won’t Sell

Do you think that your buyer might appreciate that? I think the answer to that question is a big YES!!! Doing this credit could make a difference between your buyer being able to buy your home and not being able to afford it. This option is better than the option call the two, one buy down. That lowers the interest rate for only the first two years that the borrower has the loan. This would be for the life of the loan. The benefit to you as the seller is that you are able to sell your home. You also have provided the buyer with a benefit and have received a full price offer. Yes, you have provided a credit to the buyer of $10,000 but that is often the amount that you might have to negotiate in the market today.

This is a creative way of getting your home sold. That may be what it takes today to get the job done. If you are looking for someone that can get your home sold in the market we are in today or the market that we might be in tomorrow, call Lestel. She can do it.

By phone at 970-310-8379 by email at or fill out the information in the Contact Us form

Fix Inspection Objections or Buy Home Warranty

An Image of Coins and Home Warranty packets to depict whether it is better to Fix Inspection Objections or Buy Home Warranty

When you are selling your home you have so many concerns during the process. You have to worry about issues like pricing and staging. There is also everything else it takes to get your home on the market. Then the moment comes and you get an amazing offer. You sign it and you are under contract. Finally, it feels like you can breath a sigh of relief. However, there is still one major aspect of concern, the inspection. It is very rare for a home to pass a home inspection without at least a couple of minor issues coming to light. So about a week later the home inspector comes and checks everything out. Then you get an inspection objection back from the buyers agent. You look at the list and wonder to yourself if it is cheaper to fix inspection objections or buy a home warranty.

Fix Inspection Objections or Buy Home Warranty: Cost

When looking at if it is cheaper to fix inspection objection issues or buy a home warranty the biggest thing to be concerned with is cost. It probably doesn’t make sense to provide a $500 home warranty if the issues brought to light during the inspection cost less to address. Relatively minor issues like

Perceived Concern

You also have to look at if the potential issue is a perceived concern or a real concern. A perceived concern for example is a water heater that is older than its usable life. For this specific home component this is about 10 years old or more. However, this water heater still functions. There is only the question of how long this will remain the case. For this type of issue a home warranty is an adequate way to address this perceived concern. A new water heater would run you about $1,000. A home warranty for a period of 1 year would cost you about $500.

Real Concern

A real concern is that the same water heater in question is no longer functioning. In this case a buyer would be unlikely to accept a home warranty and would instead expect a replacement of this component. Generally, home warranties are the best answer to old components that still function, but not for components that no longer function. This is because most home warranties will not cover items that were demonstrated to already be broken at time of inspection.

Hopefully, that helps clear up the question of if it is better to fix inspection objections or buy a home warranty. When you work with us we always take the time to walk you through your best options. We also have a list of trusted vendors who can do great work on your home at a fair price. If you have any specific questions please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home

Selling your home is daunting and stressful.  You are not sure what is important to improve about your home and what does not matter.  Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind. These are things that buyers hate about your home if you don’t do it right.

All Buyers Like It Clean

One of the most important things to do when you are ready to sell your home is to have it deep cleaned.  It is wise to hire someone to do this for you. Make sure that the house is neat and tidy.  Here is a list of things that are sure to turn off a buyer.  Have a meeting with Lestel and she will help you decide, if in your situation, it is wise to spend the money to correct these items.

Buyers Hate Stained Carpet

It is wise to also make sure that you have the carpets professionally cleaned before your home goes on the market.  It is amazing the stains that carpet cleaners can get out.  But should you replace?  That is a question to ask Lestel.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Nasty Smells

That could be that you had fish for dinner last night or it could be pet damage.  Make sure that your home smells its best when it is time for showings. You should also avoid using plug-ins or candles to mask scents in the home. In some cases buyers may wonder what you are trying to cover up even if it is a relatively minor offense.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: brass hardware like the doors in this room

A Sass About Brass

Buyers simply don’t like brass. That could be the brass door knobs that you have or it could be the brass light fixtures.  It might be wise to get them switched out before you put the house on the market.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Pets

More specifically, they don’t like your pets. They may have their own dog or cat, but they do not want to have to interact with your pets or smell them or see their food bowls or even know that you have them.

Buyers Do Not Want To See Your Family Pictures

They are in your home to see if they can imagine it as their home.  If your home is filled with pictures of your family it makes it very difficult for them to imagine the place as anything but yours.

Nothing Bugs Buyers More Than Bugs!

Buyers do not want to see that you have spiders or flies or worse. If you have a bug problems make sure that you have it corrected before your home goes on the market. Call the exterminator.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Counter Clutter

Buyers do not want to see over stuffed kitchen or bathroom counters. Clean them off.  If you do not use something every day, like a coffee maker, put it away.  If you do not have room to put it away, pack it up.

Wallpaper and Buyers Don’t Mix

Buyers do not like old wallpaper. In Colorado wall paper has not ever been popular like it is in some parts of the country. Getting rid of old wall paper can be a huge time consuming job, but your home, more than likely, would sell for more money without the wall paper.

Loud Paint, Quiet Market

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Loud colors like this room here

Buyers do not like personalized paint schemes.  I know your daughter’s two favorite colors are lime green and pink and that is what colors she wanted her room painted.  But, more than likely no one else is going to love a room painted that color.

Multicolored Appliances

Buyers hate mismatched appliances.  I know…you had to replace the dishwasher and the microwave so you got stainless.  You were going to buy stainless for everything else when the stove and the fridge went out.  Buyers will not be impressed that you have white and stainless appliances.  You probably never really liked it either, but thought you would just wait.  Now is probably the time to make sure that everything is matching.  Buyers will appreciate stainless and the fact that they are all matching.

Collectables, Collecting Dust

One last thing to keep in mind when you are preparing your home for sale.  Pack away your collections.  Whether you collect Barbie dolls, teddy bears, salt and pepper shakers or something else.  Buyers do not want to see your collections. They are there to see the house.  Do not distract them from that.

These are things that buyers hate about your home if you don’t do it right. This list may seem long and overwhelming.  You may not need to do everything on the list.  Contact us to see what you should do given your situation before you sell.  She can recommend what is needed to get top dollar for your home.  Happy Selling!

Selling A House With Pets?

An image of a pug to illustrate selling a house with pets

Our pets are very important to us.  If you have a pet you probably consider that special fur or not fur creature a part of the family. Seventy percent of U.S. households currently own a pet, or plan to get one, so you are in good company.  But that means that thirty four percent do not own one or do not plan to own a pet.  When you are selling your home you want to appeal to the highest number of buyers, those that love animals and those that do not.  When selling a house with pets there are a few things you should do to make sure that you appeal to all.  

Advice For Selling A House With Pets

Here is some advice on how to navigate the home sale process with your favorite animal. Most all Realtors recommend that you remove your pets for showings.  I agree with this recommendation.  We know how our animals act around us. However, we don’t necessarily know how they act around strangers in their home.  Moreover, there is nothing more disturbing than to listen to a dog barking from a kennel the whole time you are showing a home.  I feel sorry for the dog that does this.  

They do not understand why people are in their home and they just want the people to leave.  No amount of talking, treat giving is going to make this dog feel comfortable. It is hard for the buyer to fall in love with the home with that distraction.  Better to remove the dog. When you remove the animal also make sure that you remove all evidence of animal.  That means food bowls, kennels, beds, toys and litter box.  These items can be stored in the garage or shed. 

A Few More Things To Keep In Mind

An image of a puppy to illustrate selling a house with pets

More advice for selling your home when you are a pet owner includes deep cleaning the home.  For example, this includes scrubbing floors, baseboards and walls.  You may be nose blind to the smell of your pet, but home buyers will not be. If you have stained carpet it is time to replace it. You may try to have it professionally cleaned, if money is an issue.  Often times the cleaning process brings out the smells.  There are methods for cleaning that can help better alleviate the smells.  Ask your carpet cleaner about them. 

Contract and Legal Issues of Selling A House With Pets

Remember the pet friendly features that your home has.  These features may help your home sell faster.  These features might include a fenced yard, single level home, (yes even pets prefer no stairs), carpet or textured flooring, built in dog doors or dog runs. Very important feature is a pet friendly HOA, if you live within a HOA. If the HOA in which your home is located has requirements regarding pets make sure that your agent is aware of these. Also make sure that buyers are informed.  Additionally, it is no fun for a buyer to get excited about a home and go under contract only to find out a week after that their dog exceeds the weight limit. They are left with the option to get rid of their dog or cancel the contract. 

Our Sellers Property Disclosure Form in Colorado will require you to notify the buyer if pets have been kept on the property. It is best though, that the buyer does not know that they are a part of the household because of damage or smells prior to reading the disclosure form. In addition, know that for some buyers no pets is not a preference it is a health issue, with animal dander causing allergic reactions.  Removing pets and their evidence is the best way to sell a home that will appeal to the most buyers. 

If you have specific questions, contact us. We have substantial experience in this area and can make the home selling process smooth sailing for you and your furry friends.

The Path To Selling Your Home

We often have people curious about what to expect when selling a home. Therefore, we have laid out the path to selling your home below. We hope this answers your questions and removes any concern about what you can expect from the process. Here is the path to selling your home.


To begin you will meet with us to go over your goals. After our meeting and touring your home we will complete a market analysis of your property. Viewing your home first will allow us to provide the most accurate estimate of your home’s value. Once you have agreed to list your property now we have to do paperwork. We fill out the necessary documents and then present them for your review. After you review it and sign it your home is listed for sale. This does not mean that your home is on the market yet.

The Path To Selling Your Home: Home Preparation

Once your home is listed with us we begin the home preparation phase. We take the time to walk your property and suggest repairs or improvements that should be made. Making these repairs will result in your home being worth the greatest value. We can also provide a list of trusted professionals who can help you make these repairs. Once all of the work is complete we will work with you to orient your home to appeal to the most prospective buyers. With this we will come in to stage your home bringing in neutral decor, and removing personalized items. Following this step your home will be professionally photographed. We will also install a lock box on your front door. Once we have the pictures back, we will input your home in the MLS.

On the Market

An infographic showing the path to selling your home.

Now that you home is on the market showings begin. The scheduling company will call, text, or email you depending on your preferences. You will let them know if a showing time works for you and then schedule it with the buyer’s agent. It is in your best interest to allow all possible showings.

If the market is hot and your home is popular this might mean that you may need to be out of the house for long periods of time. It is important to make arrangements for children and pets to be taken care of during these times as well. Properties show best with the fewest distractions. This means it is ideal to remove yourself and your pets from the property. Doing so allows buyers to feel comfortable while they are in your home.

After showings occur offers are received on your home and reviewed between you and your agent. The offer can be signed as it is written, countered or rejected. Which option you choose will depend on a number of factors. Finally, an agreement is reached and the contract is signed. You are now under contract!

Under Contract Phase, Due Dilligence

Next we move through the under contract phase. This includes buyer due diligence. During the under contract phase title work and HOA information will be ordered by your agent. We use Land Title as our trusted title partner. The buyer will schedule inspection like a showing. This will occur about a week after you sign the contract. It is important to have your house clean and organized like you did for showings. Most buyers will attend the home inspection so you want them to still like what they see.

After the inspection buyer may request repairs to the home. This is the second part of negotiation. First we negotiate price and terms. This is the contract. Then we negotiate condition of the property. After agreement is reached regarding repairs the appraisal is ordered.

The appraisal will also scheduled like a showing. During the appraisal it is important that your home looks its best. A professional appraiser will come out to view your home in order to make an estimate of its value for the lender. Finally, repairs that you agree upon as part of inspection are scheduled.

Under Contract Phase, Final Steps

During the final part of the under contract phase the buyer receives loan approval. Often this is contingent on appraised value. After this the final walk through is scheduled by the buyer’s agent. Additionally, arrangements are made for utilities to be transferred to your new home. At this point you are all packed up and ready to leave.

The Path To Selling Your Home: Closing

Finally closing day arrives. This can be an exciting time for both buyers and sellers. Additionally, make sure to bring keys and photo ID with you to the title company. During closing documents are signed and keys are provided to the buyer. Now your Home is SOLD.

Contact us for more information or to get started on the process of selling your home

Home Showing Tips

Showing your Home At Its Best means following some tried and true methods. Below are some of our best home showing tips. Utilizing these will help your home sell the fastest and for the most money possible.

✔ Make It Light & Bright

Light and bright homes are attractive to potential buyers. Leverage this to your advantage when ou have a showing. You want to make lighting in your home the “Welcoming Sign” for home buying prospects. Prior to a showing please make sure to turn on all exterior and interior lights, including accent and picture lights.

✔ Home Showing Tips: Avoiding the Crowds

An image of a door to demonstrate some tips that sellers should follow for successful showings.

You don’t want to crowd out potential buyers when they are at your home for a showing. If there are too many people around during a showing, potential buyers will feel like intruders. This makes them want to hurry through your home. It is always best to not be home for a showing. Instead, take a nice drive or walk with the kids while your house is being shown. For longer showing windows on more popular properties it might be best to go to a movie. If you find your home is generating a great deal of interest, a staycation in a local hotel might be required. Remember this is just part of the home selling process.

✔ Peace and Quiet

When your home is being shown, have all TV’s turned off. Turn the stereo off, too, or put on soft classical music. Let the buyers agent and the prospective buyers talk calmly without having to yell over any noise. This calm environment also helps your home to show its best.

✔ Home Showing Tips: Pets Around the House

Having pets around your home is wonderful, except when showing your house. Pets can be disruptive to potential buyers. These buyers are trying to imagine themselves living in your home. This can be difficult to achieve if your pets are distracting them with barking or other potentially disruptive behaviors. When you leave for a showing try to take Fido and Sylvester out with you.

✔ This is Not A Social Call

If you have to be present at your showing there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all you need to be courteous and friendly. However, you don’t want to force conversation with potential buyers. They’re there to inspect your house, not to be social. Stay out of the way, and do your best to avoid making this an awkward interaction.

✔ Home Showing Tips: It Is Not A Garage Sale

It is important to remember that potential buyers are there to view your house, not your stuff. With this in mind don’t try to sell potential buyers any of the furnishings that you don’t want to take with you. They haven’t even bought your house yet. Doing so could jeopardize their interest in your home.

✔ Trust Us To Do It Right

Let us negotiate with the buyers about price, terms, possession, date, etc. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to get you the best deal. Contact us to get started today.

Home Seller’s Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

We receive a number of home seller’s frequently asked questions. We wanted to highlight a few of these in order to shed some light on the home selling process. With some of these answers in hand you will be best positioned in order to make knowledgable decisions when selling your home.

Home Seller’s Frequently Asked Questions: How much is my home worth?

A photo of the exterior of a home illustrating home seller's frequently asked questions

One of the most common Home Seller’s Frequently Asked Questions is how much their home is worth. Homes in Northern Colorado are probably worth between $2 and $2,000,000. We will complete current market analysis or CMA in order to give you a snapshot of what your home could sell for if it was on the market today. You can use this information to make an informed choice about selling your property.

How do you determine what my home is worth?

We visit your home to gather as much information as she can about your home including square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, recent improvements, upgrades, condition and more. We compare this information to other similar homes that have recently sold and homes that are currently on the market. No two homes are exactly alike but we try to find homes that are most similar. Then we use this information to arrive at a value for your home.

What is the difference between the assessed value and what you told me my home is worth?

The assessed value of your home is what the county assessor believes your home to be worth for tax purposes. This amount is almost always lower than the true value of your home. The amount we have told you that your home is worth is based on a current market analysis of properties similar to your home. This provides you a market snapshot which indicates what your home would likely sell for if it were on the market today.

Home Seller’s Frequently Asked Questions: What is the difference between list price and sales price?

Another photo of a home listed for sale to depict home seller's frequently asked questions

The list price is what we believe you should list your home for in order to net you the most on the sale of your home. The sales price is an estimate of what we believe your home would sell for if it was put on the market at the list price. Pricing your home correctly is vital to attracting the largest number of buyers. Attracting the largest number of buyers is key for getting multiple offers on your property.

Are the values that Zillow have accurate for my home?

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff says that Zestimates are a Good starting point. However, nationwide Zestimates have a “Median error rate of about 8%.” It can be much higher. Why are they so wrong? They have not been in your home for one thing. You need a professional agent to come in and see your home. Then they must account for all the parts of your home that contribute to its value. Only then can a value estimation provide insights for your particular property.

What are the benefits of working with you?

Lestel has been a full time Realtor since 1998. Real estate is her career. Put her Experience, Enthusiasm, Education and Energy to work for you! Contact us to get started today.

Should You Stage Your Home In A Seller’s Market

Home staging helps your listing appeal to the greatest number of buyers. However, should you stage your home in a seller’s market? There are a few reasons that this is a vital component of listing your home that you do not want to overlook.

Should You Stage Your Home In A Seller’s Market: Your House Looks Better

A photo of a dining room showing that you should stage your home because it makes a room look bigger.

Homes that are staged look bigger. This also means that they appear more valuable. Think about the last time you were in a vacant home. What did you feel? Now think about a time you saw a well decorated home. If you were a buyer which property could you see yourself living in? You want buyers to see your home looking its best. You dress up for an interview, so wouldn’t you dress your home up for a potential buyer?

Tugging on Heartstrings

Staging makes buyers fall in love with your property. Emotionally invested buyers are more likely to work harder to make sure they get to buy. This means that they may overlook other issue with the home. Issues that non emotionally invested buyers may have a problem with. Staging helps to make sure that the buyers for your home stay in love with the property gets them to the closing table.

Should You Stage Your Home In A Seller’s Market: Photographs

A photo of a kitchen counter showing that you should stage your home because it makes a home looks better in photographs

Home staging means that your MLS photos will look much better. These pictures are the first thing that entice potential buyers to come and view your home. We hear from buyers all the time that they didn’t like the way a home looked in photographs online. It is because of this that they often rule the property out before even seeing it in person. This means that you should do everything in your power to make this first impression count.

Return on Investment

Staging has a substantial return on investment. Staging can cost hundreds of dollars. However, it can result in thousands of dollars in increased value for the property. It may feel like just another thing to have to deal with. However, if we told you that you could make a few thousand dollars for an hour of your time you would probably jump at the opportunity.

More Money

Beyond providing a solid return on investment homes that are staged sell faster and for more money that homes that are not. This is because buyers are able to see more value in a home that appears to be happy and lived in. Moreover, vacant homes appear cold and less valuable. At the end of the day you want to make sure that you are able to walk away from your home sale with the most money possible.

Did you know that when you list your home with us home staging is included? Contact us for help listing and staging your home. Doing so will attract more buyers helping your property sell faster and for more money.

How to Sell a Home When You Have Pets

There are many people out there who love their pets. We get it, we love our pets too. Unfortunately, pets can get in the way when you are looking to sell your home. Here are a few quick tips to help you keep both prospective buyers and your furry friends happy when selling your home.

Put in Garage or in Another Room

This is one option but is probably the least feasible of the ideas listed here. This is because you can’t be sure how your pets will react to strangers being in the home. There is also the concern of what might happen if someone were to open the door where the animal is. Will this be safe for the prospective buyers or your animal? It also prevents prospective buyers from getting to view some parts of your property. When you combine these two factors of a barking dog and not being able to see your garage some buyers might simply write your home off and move on to the next one. We don’t want this as we definitely want to work to show your home in the best possible light.

Crate your Animals

If you have to leave your pets home this is probably the best solution. Crating the animal provides a safe barrier between potential buyers and your pet that they will not accidently let the animal out of. Unfortunately, this solution can come with the issues of having a barking dog, or a hissing cat taking away from the ability of the buyer to focus on your home. The best solution will always be to have an empty and quiet home. However, if that is not possible the crate is the next best thing.

Take Pets Out 

Since it isn’t appropriate for you to be present during the showing of a property so if you have to leave you might also take fido with you. Removing all pets (except perhaps fish) allows the best possible environment for a potential buyer to view your home. It also ensures that they do not simply abandon their showing because of a disruptive animal. Use a showing as an opportunity to take your dog to the dog park. They will certainly appreciate it.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to Contact Us. We can discuss potential solutions to any issues involved with how to sell a home when you have pets. Trust us, we have seen almost everything.