Real Estate Negotiation Tips

There are many ways to come out on top in real estate negotiations both as a buyer and a seller. Today we want to highlight some of the methods you and your agent can have at their disposal.

Real Estate Negotiation Tips For Sellers: Your keys to success

As a seller you hold a lot of the cards in negotiation. You have something that the buyer wants and have piqued their interest in your property enough that they have presented you with an offer. However, negotiation is still key to ending up with the most favorable offer. It is important to share with your agent what terms you are looking for. Is price your number one concern? Or are you more concerned about not paying for potential repairs? Timing is also a crucial factor. Do you need a specific closing date in order to purchase your next property? As your agent I will field phone calls prior to offers being written. Armed with this information the negotiation begins. These days there are a lot of competing offer situations. Informing these agents what terms would be most favorable to you allows them to create a great offer. My goal is always to present you with the greatest number of amazing offers. I then help you weed through all the idiosyncrasies to sign the best one.

Real Estate Negotiation Tips For Buyers

With the seller’s market of the last few years it can seem like sellers certainly have a bit of an upper hand. While this is true in some aspects at the end of the day a seller wants to dispose of their property and receive fair compensation. They may also have time constraints. Then we negotiate condition at time of inspection. The terms we first negotiate will always include timing. Sometimes, sellers are flexible but this is not always the case. The seller may need the cash from this sale to close on their next house in two weeks. Or they might need a rent back for several weeks after closing in order to secure their next move. The saying time is money is especially true in real estate. An offer that meets the timing the seller needs can easily beat out an offer thousands of dollars over yours. You can also waive your right to inspection. This ensures the seller that there will not be extra expenses that they need to worry about. Agreeing to cover any gap between the appraised value and your offer price is another strategy. This means you will bring the difference in cash to closing. When combined, all of these negotiation strategies provide a seller peace of mind in accepting your offer.

We Are Your Negotiation Experts

Need some help negotiating your next real estate transaction? Contact us and we would be happy to help you reach your real estate goals with the least amount of stress possible.

Living in Your Home While it is On The Market

You have just listed your home for sale and it has been staged and photographed, all while planning on living in your home while it is on the market.  You have agreed that it will be going in the MLS tomorrow.  How do you deal with your home on the market, keeping it looking its best and still living there? It can be difficult to live in your home while it is for sale.  After all, you are trying to present the home in its best light.

Living in your home while it is on the market comes with real life with all of its challenges

Here are several things that you can do during this time to make life a bit easier for yourself and keep your home looking showing ready.  If your home is staged and looks its best and is priced right you should have showings being scheduled shortly after your home comes on the market.  

  1. Make sure that you have secured any valuables and prescription drugs.  Think about your privacy and remove or store any personal documents that contain financial or personal information. Close or turn off computers
  2. If you have pets you will need to have a pet plan in place before you have any showings.  It is best that animals are taken with you and not present for showings.  Even the best-behaved dogs can be disruptive during a showing.  It is wise to also remove pet toys, bowls, beds and kennels.  

Cats can be upset and try to escape.  It is wise to remove them too.  Not everyone has just a dog or cat.  Some people have reptiles, birds or small mammals.  It is wise to find temporary homes with friends during the showing of your home.  Some people can be uncomfortable with these animals.  They also can be distracting.  Remember the buyer is there to see your home and fall in love, not fall for your animals. 

Some Other Pro Tips

  1. Keep your home clean and clutter free.  The best way to keep your home looking its best while you are having showings is to establish a daily routine.  This can include making your bed as soon as you get up.  Also tiding the kitchen after each meal.  Keeping cleaning supplies handy to do a quick clean in the bathroom each day.  Put the toys away at the end of the day before bed.  Doing these things as a part of the day will make it easy to run out the door for a showing knowing your home looks great. 
  2. Have a to go bag packed.  If you have kids at home the to go bag should include snacks and some toys for them to play with while you are in the car.  Maybe a treat for the dog too.  Lap tops, prescriptions, mail and anything else that is sitting on the counter can be stuck in the bag on the way out the door. 
  3. Before you leave make sure that the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature.  Open blinds and turn on lights. If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on. Fluff pillows, put away toys for kids and dogs. Stow away kitchen trash and wipe counters. Stow away pet bowls and liter boxes.  Pick up the to go bag and smile. You are ready for your showing. 

Contact us today if you have any questions on how to make your move work for you.

How to Refuse or Counter an Offer

So you are selling your home but you are worried. Worried that a potential buyer might come in and attempt to put in a lowball offer. What do you do when this happens? How to Refuse or Counter an Offer? First of all there is no need to worry. As the seller are not required to accept any offer written on your home. Even if they offer hundreds of thousands over asking price. You still don’t have to accept the offer if you don’t want to. 

What Is The Process to Refuse or Counter an Offer?

When you receive an unacceptable offer you can either flat out reject it, or you can choose to counter their offer. If you choose to flat out reject it we communicate this on your behalf to the other side, and it is done. They of course have the option to write a more acceptable offer which we will present to you and we start over at step one.

If you choose to counter we draft the requisite documents with the price and other details you select. This is presented to the other side and they can elect to accept or reject your counter. This process is a frequent occurrence. As a seller you don’t always have to outright accept or reject a buyers offer. You can instead adjust it to better meet your needs. Of course price isn’t always the end all be all in an offer. Timing can often be just as important. If you need a rent back, or a faster close, we can negotiate this for you.

We can help to shape the contract to result in your best overall outcome, whatever it may be. When listing your home for sale let us be your guide. Contact Us today to find out how we can ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your home sale.

Ready to Sell Your Home?

If you are ready to sell your home you have likely already taken a few steps. This means that you have paid attention to all that you are suppose to do to prepare your home for sale. You have decluttered and depersonalized.  In addition, you have also deep cleaned and made sure that your home is in top shape and ready to go on the market.  However, there is one more thing to consider that can make a huge difference in whether a buyer wants to buy your home or the one that is in your neighborhood that is also on the market. That one more thing is how does your home smell?  

Ready to Sell Your Home, How Does It Smell?

Selling a home, plays on the senses. You want the buyer to imagine living there. For this reason, it is important to create a warm and inviting environment for the buyer while they are in your home.  That is why smells are very important during showings or an open house. Smells connect us to memories and it is important that buyers feel that connection to your home.

Cookies, Breads, and Pies

Certain smells help with that connection.  For instance, the smell of cookies fresh out of the oven remind us of the holidays and time spent in the kitchen with friends and family. Additionally, some of the best smells often are smells that come from the kitchen.  This means scents like the smell of cookies, pie, and fresh baked bread.  A showing does not mean that you need to bake cookies, pie or bread every time. 

Use Modern Tricks

Many of these smells can be recreated, artificially. You can do this through the use of candles, air fresheners and sprays. Another trick is to pour some artificial vanilla flavoring in an oven safe container.  Put the container in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes just before a showing.  It will give off the scent of freshly baked cookies without the trouble. Vanilla is a great smell that seems to be enjoyed by all and connects people to good memories of home. Good memories of home can help a buyer feel the connection and feel safe in your home. 

Don’t Forget the Bathrooms

Other smells that are appealing in bathrooms include eucalyptus, sage or lavender.  These smells create a spa like calming feel. Be careful using too many scents throughout the home.  Also be careful not to make scents overbearing.  Too much can give the impression that you have something to hide and be as bad as unpleasant orders.  Too much can also cause headaches and allergic reactions and be distracting. 

When You’re Ready to Sell Your Home Good Smells Create Positive Feelings

Remember the purpose behind creating good smells in your home is to be positive.  This is especially important when you are ready to sell your home. You want the buyers to leave with a good feeling that they just found home. If you would like help creating a scent profile for your home Contact Us, we would be happy to assist.

Signs You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Right Now

If you have watched the news even a little lately you know just how wild and crazy the real estate market is. This includes both broadly across the U.S. as well as locally here in Northern Colorado. This being the case you might be thinking it is a great time to sell your home. However, there are a few signs that you shouldn’t sell your home right now. For those people who check enough of these boxes you likely want to wait at least a little bit before you decide to list your home with us.

Purchasing Another Home

One area that might give you pause is if you need to buy another home in a competitive price range in an equally competitive market. This is a bit of a toss up as there are risks both ways. The first is that it is difficult to be competitive when you have a contingent offer. This is one that requires the sale of your current home in order to close.

The other is that you might sell your home before closing on another one. This situation might essentially leave you homeless. Living in temporary housing, or an apartment prior to being able to move into your new home. We have experience getting buyers under contract when they have homes to sell. To do so we use techniques such as bridge loans. It is important to run through the scenarios prior to listing your home for sale. We are happy to undertake this effort with you before rushing to put your home on the market.

You Still Love Your Home

Another time to reconsider selling is when you still love your home. You have likey seen a ridiculous amount of appreciation on your property over the last few years. However, you don’t want to miss out on a great sellers market and leave potential cash on the table. If you still love your home and don’t really want to move you don’t necessarily need to sell in order to realize the benefits of all of this market appreciation.

What you might be interested in is a cash out refinance instead. This allows you to set new loan terms with a lender. The lender will then close the loan with you, allowing you to pull out some of the cash value of your home while you continue to live in and own it.

Let Us Help

Of course these are just a couple of potential scenarios where selling might not be your best option. Every situation is different and we encourage you to Contact Us to talk you through the pros and cons of selling your particular home. We promise not to pressure you into any decision, rather we will provide the facts and let you decide for yourself if there are signs you shouldn’t sell your home right now.

Simple Home Staging Tips

No matter how hot the market is most sellers get a bit anxious before officially putting their home on the market. They question whether they have good decorator taste. They also question if the buyers will be excited when they see the home and want to buy it. Here are some Simple Home Staging Tips. Staging can take some of the guess work away and insure that buyers will see themselves living in your home and be willing to offer what it takes to buy it!

According to the National Association of Realtors:

  • 31 % of buyers increase their offer by 1% to 5% because the home was staged.
  • 77% of buyers felt more able to see themselves moving into a home that was staged
  • 40% of buyers were more willing to visit a staged online listing.

It is easy to see from this information that staging is beneficial for homes of all sizes and price ranges. It affects both online views and in person showings.

So here are some Simple Home Staging Tips for selling your home for potentially more money and a shorter amount of time.

  • Remove the clutter. This is the number one rule in home staging. Removing clutter can entail removal of extra furniture and all of the stuff that can keep a run from feeling as spacious and functional as it should. If you do not have room for these extra things but would like to keep them it may be time to rent a storage unit.
  • Become a clean freak! Cleaning is an important part of making sure that your home looks its best. Deep clean before the home is listed for sale and then regularly as they home is one the market. It is a good idea to do these three things every day while your home is on the market. Mop and vacuum. Wipe down surfaces and a make beds. A nice clean scent can be appealing too. Be careful overpowering smells can be a turn off.
  • De-personalize your home. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your home. If you have too many personal photos and mementos out Buyers can have a hard time imagining themselves in the space and instead feel like they are simply visiting your home. Do not forget to put away your personal care and grooming items too!
  • Make it neutral. Give your home a quick makeover by painting rooms light, neutral colors. Neutral colors are not just for paint. Simple white towels hanging in the bathroom and other light accessories go a long way.

Getting a home ready for sale is no easy task. The benefits of preparing your home for sale far outweigh the time and effort that you put into it. Lestel provides professional home staging advice and can bring in product so that you do not need to go out and purchase items used to stage your home. Doing this can make a huge difference in what you walk away with when you sell your home. Contact Lestel to learn more!

What is Title Insurance

 Title insurance is issued to protect you the owner or the buyer of a property against ownership claims.  Title insurance is a one time premium that protects against past events.  That protection includes claims to the rights of the property.  These can include false claims, forgeries, forgotten heirs to a property or claims to anyone. 

The title order process is as follows:

  1. The property goes under contract and contract is provided to the title company.
  2. The title company will research the title work spending form 5 to 7 business days
  3. Title commitment is issued along with a list of requirements. 
  4. The requirements are satisfied so that clear title can be provided
  5. Closing of the property
  6. Final Title policy is issued about 30 days after closing.

When title search is pulled

As a part of the under contract period, research is done to see what encumbrances there are on the property and what claims there are. When this research is done the title company can find a problem that needs to be resolved prior to closing approximately 36% of the time.  These problems can be anything from a name that has to be verified, to a mechanics lien that is on the property that has to be verified. The under contract process provides the title company with time to do the research so that they are able to provide a marketable title, that can be transferred to the new owner (buyer). 

What is Title Insurance

The title commitment is issued and provides information regarding the property.  It is the report that is provided to the parties after the research has been completed.  The commitment provides information regarding liens against the property and the person in title on the property.  The requirements, that are a part of the title commitment, will tell what needs to be satisfied so that a clear title can be provided at closing. 

The list of requirement are listed Schedule B of the title work.  This will include the list of liens that must be paid off and what liens must be added.  For example the new mortgage for the buyer.  The list of requirements might also require that the seller provide an improvement location certificate (ILC) for the property. Another important section of title work is schedule B part II.  This section of title work includes any easements that are on the property in addition to convenance, conditions and restrictions (CC and R’S) if the property is within an HOA.  This is important to read to make sure that the CC and R’s can be abided by.

The next things that occurs is the property is closed.  The title company participates in the closing on the property making sure that all documents are signed properly at closing, liens are paid off and all documents are properly recorded.

Approximately 30 days after closing the final title policy is issued and mailed out to the buyer.  The transaction is complete.  The title policy lasts for as long as the person owns the property. If you have any questions, contact us. We would be happy to point you in the right direction.

Hot Seller’s Market Fort Collins

Hot seller’s market in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado is taking some of the uncertainty away for sellers.  A recent Zillow survey found that sellers find the experience of selling a home stressful.  We all know this to be true, whether you are an agent involved in the transaction or a seller.  Part of the stress of selling your home is the unknowns that can be a part of the process. 

As the seller you want to know what you are going to have to do to prepare your home.  You want to know what your home will sell for.  You also want to know how long it will take to sell.  These concerns are normal and certainly warranted. Some of this stress comes from the seller not having a lot of control over the much of the process.

When your home is positioned in a hot seller’s market Fort Collins some of the stress of the unknowns can fade away.  You can expect that your home will sell rather quickly and that more than likely it could sell for close to full price. You can also assume that preparing your home for sale will not be a long and difficult process.  It is easy to see that a strong seller’s market can take some of the stress out of selling your home.  Each home is unique and you will need to consult your real estate agent for guidance.

Work closely with your agent can also help to minimize your level of stress.   Follow your agents guidance on preparing your home for sale and pricing.  Don’t assume that you have the best house on the block and that all you have to do is list the home for sale and there will be a line of buyers that want to pay top dollar for your home.  Address any known issues with your home before putting your home on the market. Addressing issues ahead of time will help the home be as attractive as possible and ensure that a future inspection will go as smoothly as possible. Follow you realtors’ guidance, throughout the process.  Now may be the time to sell your home.  Call Lestel and see if you can use this market to your advantage!