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 lestel@frii.com 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.

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 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.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

If you are looking to either buy or sell a home there are a few questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent. First, you want to concern yourself with the agent’s level of experience. You want to find out how long they have been in business. It is also important to know how often an agent works in the area your area if interest. After all, an agent can have a lot of experience in one locale but not have much local knowledge in the area you want to move to.

Experience means that you need to find an agent who sells a lot of homes in your price range. Experience also means finding the right agent for your area of need. This means finding a residential real estate agent if you are looking for or to sell a home, someone who specializes in land if you want to purchase or sell a vacant parcel, or a commercial agent for commercial space.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent: For Buyers

When you are looking to buy you want to find out how well your agent can represent you. This means asking questions about some of the agent’s negotiation strategies. How can they present your offer in the best light? In a competitive market this is a lot more than simply offering the largest amount of money. There are a variety of ways to make any buyers offer stand above the rest. Additionally, once you are under contract how will your potential agent support you? Will they continue to advocate on your behalf through inspection and appraisal, or will the next time they speak to you be at the closing table?

For Sellers

As a seller your needs and desires are different than that of a buyer. This likely boils down to two things. You want someone who can sell your home in a timely fashion and for the greatest amount of money. Sellers need to find out how well a potential agent knows their market, and their area. It is also important to understand what methods an agent uses to arrive at a price to list your home at. Money is just one aspect, time is also a vital factor.

For you this could mean a quick sale, or maybe you need a longer amount of time to determine your next move. When it comes to questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent you want to find out how they will remove road blocks during the under contract process to prevent delays. An experienced agent brings with them a specialized team of people, from inspectors to contractors to make repairs. Sometimes we can even negotiate to have the buyer use our preferred local lender to avoid the fly by night online operations which always result in delays. Find out if the agent you are interviewing has access to these types of professionals.

If you need help interviewing a great agent anywhere in the world we would be happy to find a great fit for you. Contact Us and let us ask the important questions so that your interests can be best represented.

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.

What Are The Next Steps That Occur When You List Your Home For Sale?

We have discussed the report I provided you with information regarding the value of your home in today’s market and how long it might take to sell. You are comfortable with what I have told you and feel ready to get your home on the market. You would like to have it on the market as soon as possible. The next step is to sign all of the listing paperwork. This includes signing all disclosures that will be provided to the buyer, the closing instructions, loan payoff and closing information and the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Contract. We also discuss showing instructions for your home.

Next we will go through your home room by room and I will provide you with staging advice. The way that we live in our home is not the way that our home should look when our home is on the market. I will provide you with suggestions to make your home appeal to the highest number of buyers and provide you with the best chance of multiple offers. When walking through your home I will also be making a list of décor items that I can bring to dress up your home. This may mean new towels for the bathroom to be used for showings, it may mean pictures for the wall, a lamp for the bedside table or any number of other things. I will schedule a time to come back for the final staging. I will bring all of the décor and place it where it should go. At this point you will be ready for pictures.

Pictures of your home are taken by a professional photographer. He will come at the scheduled time. I usually am present for this appointment. We will turn all lights on and he will go room by room photographing your home. Outside front pictures and back are also taken. This process usually takes an hour or more. He may also take the time for a video. You do not have to be present for the pictures, in fact it is much easier if you are not home. This allows the photographer to focus on showing your home in the best light, rather than answering questions and trying to work around you. Once pictures are taken the photographer will do his thing and make the pictures look their best. I will receive the photos within a few hours to a day. Once staging and photos are done you are ready to go in MLS. This process of staging and photography can be a quick as you need it, all occurring in 24 to 48 hours or can take longer if
needed. We are working together to make this happen. If you need the home on the market ASAP, we can make it happen. If we have some time, we can stretch the process.

Necessary paperwork has been signed. We have photos, your home is staged and ready. The next step is entering your home into the realtor’s MLS system. This can take a couple of hours. Brochures are made, sign is ordered and put up with brochures in the box. From the realtor’s MLS system the listing information is populated to over 600 websites across the country for buyers to find and look at. Showings calls can begin right away. Make sure that when you have a showing set up that you are not home, but you leave the lights on and ready to welcome that buyer for your home.