Friday, March 29, 2013

The Importance of Staging for Sellers AND buyers

“Staging” is the art of getting your house ready to show to prospective buyers so that they see it in its best light. While typically thought of as something agents do only for sellers, an agent’s staging skills are also beneficial to buyers.
Let’s look at both aspects – staging for sellers and staging for buyers.
As a seller, you want your house to show its best. Buyers tend to choose emotionally and then justify their decision logically. Staging, done well, can make an emotional connection with a buyer – providing them with a “wow” experience when they open the door to your house.
With staging, its best to start with the no-cost and low-cost strategies. Rearranging furniture, removing clutter and painting can make a space feel larger and more inviting. Accessorizing is another great way to add flair. It costs little and the accessories that you buy can go with you to your new place.
In some cases, it can make sense to make more substantial improvements. New floor coverings, countertops, plumbing fixtures and lighting may help. Even remodels of kitchens and baths can make financial sense in some cases. We have to be much more judicious about these kinds of things, however. Are the time and effort worth the return even if we get $1.50 back for every dollar spent on the upgrades?

What about staging for buyers. How can staging expertise help you when you are buying?
It can help in two ways.
1) Most homes have not been staged very effectively. We will need to look beyond the current cosmetics to the underlying home and visualize how a different arrangement of furniture or some low-cost improvements will make the space shine. Often you can get a better deal on this type of home as most buyers and agents have trouble seeing beyond the current conditions.
2) You will need to sort out and be wary of the emotional impact you might feel from a well-staged home and make sure that you are paying attention to the house itself. There is nothing wrong with falling in love with the house you buy. You want to feel an emotional attachment if it is a house you are going to live in. However, situations where the effective staging causes buyers to forget about their initial needs and wants (that extra bedroom or that third bathroom) can be misleading and devastating once reality sets in.
Bottom Line: Staging is important for both buyers and sellers. It is something we’ll need to pay attention to on either side of the transaction.

(c) Colorado Home Realty

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Understand the inspection process

The inspection phase of the home buying process is vitally important, often misunderstood and frequently just a tad bit frustrating. Here is a brief primer on this vital topic.
A pre-purchase inspection is crucial because it is your chance as a buyer to uncover hidden defects. While it is true that sellers are required by law to tell you of known problems, the disclosure process is handled pretty-poorly in many cases with sellers not being adequately informed of their legal obligations. In addition, problems can be present in a property without the seller knowing about them.
It is also important to understand what you are getting into when you hire an inspector. If you read the inspection contract used by most inspectors, you will find that it typically defines the scope of the inspection as follows: A pre-purchase home inspection is a visual inspection ofmajor components of a house that can be safely and readily observed to document significant deficiencies that areongoing at the time of the inspection.
A pre-purchase inspection of a home is very much like getting a physical from a doctor. Your family practice doc looks in your eyes and listens to your heart and is on the lookout for anything that is not functioning properly. A home inspector does the same with the major systems of a house – looking at the structure, roof, electrical system, furnace and so forth for telltale signs of underlying problems. If he finds any, he may recommend further evaluation by a specialist.
Some aspects of the home inspection process that are frequently misunderstood:
1.    There is no such thing as “passing” or “failing” an inspection. The inspector just gives you a factual report on the condition of the house.
2.    You can ask the seller to fix defects that are uncovered by the inspection but sellers are not obligated to do anything. A negotiation must occur about which items, if any, will be corrected by the seller and/or if a price concession or some other remedy is available.
3.    Inspections do not provide a warranty or a guarantee on the property. We’ve all heard stories of people who have a heart attack right after a physical where they got a clean bill of health. Likewise, things can be wrong with houses that are not caught by an inspection. However, this is extremely rare.
The frustrating part of the inspection process is that buyer and seller expectations are diametrically opposed and always will be. The seller almost-always wants to do nothing and the buyer almost-always wants everything fixed.
The good news is that there are strategies for dealing with these differing expectations. It begins with a lot more education about the inspection process itself.
Also, there are ways of preparing the initial contract on the property that make it more likely for sellers to agree to your inspection requests when you are a buyer and less likely for buyers to ask for unexpected items when you are selling.
We will discuss in more detail when we work together on your transactions.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Home prices in Denver continue to rise

Great news on the Denver home front.  According to the Denver Post and S&P/Case Shiller home-prices index , home prices rose by 9.2% comparing January 2012 to January 2013.  This marks the 13th straight month, which follows 18 months of decline.

Inventory is still low which which will continue to push the prices up.  But still such a great time to buy with the mortgage rates being low   

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another reason to Sell your Home in Denver

Did you a buy a house in 2009 with the $8000 home Buyer credit??  Click the video to learn more
8000 Another reason to Sell your Home in Denver

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thinking of Selling ... here are my Buyers needs

* Arapahoe school district, 4 beds, up to $275k
* Belmar Townhome, Lakewood
* Aravda up to $250,000 3 beds
* Centennial / DTC condo, up to $100k - I have 2 Buyers
* Centennial / Lone Tree, 4 beds, remodeled, up to $650k
* Piney Creek, up to $600k

These are my priority Buyers ... I have many more.  If you have a home in these areas, and curious to know the value, please CLICK HERE

Call early when selling your Denver home

Agents sometimes get calls that go something like this:

Caller: “Oh … I’m glad I caught you. I want to sell my house and need to have it on the market by this weekend.”

Agent: “Great. I’m so glad you want me to help you with your home sale. Are you aware that it is Thursday? Thursday afternoon?”

Caller: “Yeah. Sorry for the late notice. I meant to call you this morning.”

Okay. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, many sellers are not aware of the significant lead time needed to do a good job at getting a house on the market. Stress on the words “good job.” You absolutely CAN get a house on the market very quickly when that is what a seller wants, but you’ll achieve a much better result when there is time to plan and prepare.

Why? Well, it’s similar to what professional athletes experience. Most of their success on game day comes from how they’ve prepared for the game during the week. Likewise, most of our success at getting top dollar for your place and finding a good buyer comes from what we do before your property even goes on the market. Pricing, staging, photography, creation of marketing materials … all of these things affect the end result. And, it takes some time to do them well.

In addition, we need to give some thought to what you are doing when your house sells. Do you want to buy another place here in town? Are you relocating out of state? Moving to a monastery? Assuming that you want to acquire another property, we need to get you pre-qualified for a loan and figure out what the market is doing in the area where you want to be.

The bottom line: Call early. Even if your move is not going to be until later in the year, it is best for us to talk about your plans as early as possible. It will help us get you a better price for the place you are selling and to snag a better deal on the place you want to buy.