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.

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.

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!

Real Estate Photography

Horrible Real Estate PhotoWe see it almost every day, a great house in a great location with amazing features. Unfortunately, the listing is ruined because the listing agent went through and took pictures with their cell phone. Sometimes this nets hilarious results. Yet it is always disappointing to know that the seller hired someone to list their home. Someone who didn’t take the marketing of the property seriously. There is an oft heard remark in our real estate market that all you need to do is list a property. Put it on the MLS and it will sell. However, not properly representing a house can result in it selling for below market value.

IMG_1981A picture is worth a thousand words

Our MLS system allows us to add up to 40 images for each listed property. That is 40,000 additional words forming statements about your property, and its value. When we list a home we utilize professional quality photography to display your property in the best but also realistic light. We also don’t over edit photos to generate interest by misrepresenting your property.

The Right Equipment

Real Estate CameraOur marketing photographs are taken using a wide angle lens on a professional DSLR camera. We happen to prefer Canon. We utilize a tripod to insure that we are able to use long exposure times while keeping the image razor sharp. This means that we don’t have to crank up the ISO on the camera’s settings. Using a high ISO leads to a grainy texture in images which degrades the image quality. This is especially true when viewed in a full screen context online. We shoot in camera RAW to insure that we are capturing the most information. This means  we have the most leeway when it comes time to post process the images before uploading them to your listing.

IMG_1990Time to Edit

We have spent countless hours perfecting a suite of Lightroom presets. These allow us to correct images in post processing. It also insures that each image in the photo deck is colored and contrasted almost identically to all the other photos in your home marketing. This means when perspective buyers click through to view each aspect of your home there aren’t jarring color or lighting changes. They can focus on your property. Moreover, they won’t be distracted by the editing choices of the photographer.

At The End of the Day

All of this means that when your house is posted to the MLS and then sent out via IDX to hundreds of home websites potential buyers are able to see it in the best light. Using professional photography is the best way to market your property. This generates interest better than any other communication method. It is attention to detail like this that makes us the best real estate agents in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Let us know when you are ready for us to begin the marketing process for your house by Contacting Us.

Should I Sell My Home Myself?

FSBOSome property owners decide to sell their homes themselves to save money on commission. In the real estate world we call this a For Sale By Owner, or FSBO for short.  Do you really end up with more money in your pocket when you sell your home yourself?  According to NAR, National Association of Realtors, the median price of a home sold by a real estate agent last year was $280,000. The median sale price for a “for sale by owner” was $200,000.  So these homeowners could have sold their home for more money. They certainly would have less hassle if they used an agent.

So what are the benefits, other than more money, to working with an agent.

  1. An agent knows the market and can help a seller to set a price for their home that will attract the most buyers.  More buyers means a shorter time period to an offer.
  2. Agent know who to reach out to today’s buyers using up to date marketing and old fashioned marketing that works.
  3. Agents can help with staging advice and refer you to the right service providers so that you home is prepared to excite buyers once they see your home.
  4. An agent can make recommendations to a seller one what improvements might be needed that will pay off in a higher sale price for the home.

Bottom line, Realtors® are professionals that regularly sell homes. Should I Sell My Home Myself? Most homeowners do not have the knowledge to best represent themselves and look out for their best interest in the sale of their home. It is a complicated process and you don’t want to find yourself selling for less than you could. Contact us for help in your next real estate transaction.