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.

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.