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.

What Do Real Estate Agents Actually Do?

Popular culture has probably painted a picture for you of real estate agents. This might be anything from a cut throat negotiator to something along the lines of a used car salesman. In honesty the truth depends on which agent you talk to. However, professional real estate agents probably all fall somewhere along the lines of what is discussed below. So what do real estate agents actually do?

Hint: It’s a lot more than showing property, and coming to closing

It depends on who they are representing (buyer or seller). This is because there are vastly different roles that a real estate agent must fulfill. Let’s take a look at each of these roles.

What Do Real Estate Agents Actually Do When Representing a Buyer?

A buyer’s agent certainly shows a lot of property. However, they must also be a neighborhood and community expert. Buyer’s agents spend a lot of time researching. They do this in order to remain knowledgeable about pricing and the overall condition of the market. Research also allows them to find you homes that match your criteria. Being an expert on neighborhoods and the current market is vital. This is important in order to aid their clients in selecting a home and location that best meet the buyer’s needs. They will be able to tell you about specific builders’ construction practices. Along with this they can show you which homes to select and which to avoid.

The buyer’s agent must also be a negotiation expert in order to get their client’s offer accepted. This is actually only the beginning as buyer’s agents must also guide the transaction through the under contract process. During this phase the home needs an inspection and appraisal. Depending on the outcome of these inspections additional negotiation may be required. You want to make sure you have a skilled negotiator in your corner. This will allow the home buying process to work out in your favor.

Good Real Estate Agent’s Don’t Just List It And Leave It

What Do Real Estate Agents Do (Open House Sign)

As a seller’s agent the responsibilities change. It is vital to have the listing shown in the best light. This means home staging and professional grade photographs. It also means clearing up issues prior to the property going on the market. Some of these might include minor repairs or ensuring that permits are in order. It really is a case by case basis as no two properties are the same. Once the home is on the market a seller’s agent must be knowledgeable about their listings. They will field many emails and phone calls with questions about the property.

Having spent a great deal of time with your home getting it ready for sale will allow them to know your home inside and out. Absentee agents who never see your home are missing this crucial experience. A seller’s agent will need to negotiate both the initial offer and condition of the property at time of inspection and appraisal. During the under contract process they may also have to address questions of title, insurance or other issues. A knowledgeable and experienced agent can easily solve these issues. This is in sharp contrast to an inexperienced agent who may panic. There are very few new problems in real estate. A seasoned agent has probably seen most of them and can easily advocate for your best interest.

We are highly experienced representing both buyers and sellers in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Contact us today and let us guide you through the real estate process. Doing so will allow your interests to be best represented.

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.