Selling Your Home

5 Real Estate Listing Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Photo TipCrisp, high definition photographs are an essential part of a real estate listing. If the pictures of your home aren’t as good as the pictures of competing homes on the market, it might not even matter that your property is actually better in real life. 

Image is everything when it comes to real estate listings. If you want buyers to fall in love with your home and offer you your ideal price, you need to make the listing photos a priority from the start.

Here are 5 common real estate photography mistakes that you should avoid if you want to create an excellent listing for your home:

Blurriness

Reduse blur in your photos

Blur is caused by a shaky camera. The best way to avoid it is to use a tripod. It's a relatively cheap solution to a problem that will sink your listing photos. Set a tripod and camera up at chest height and you're much more likely to get sharp, appealing photos that entice buyers.

Clutter

Avoid clutter in your photos

Get rid of the clutter! Putting personal items away, removing items from counters, and taking unnecessary decor from walls and corners are all essential steps for preparing a home for sale to be photographed. Also, please remember to put the car in the garage for exteriors.

Crooked Horizon

Crooked photos...

Denver Home Sellers: 4 Ways to Win Over Buyers at First Glance

Ways to win over buyers

Studies show that the longer a home sits on the market, the lower the offer will be when the seller finally receives one. That’s why you really need to do everything you can to make buyers fall in love with your home from the first day it goes on the market, or at least from the first look they get at it.

You may feel that your home will sell itself, but that can be a costly presumption if you’re wrong. If there are other homes for sale in your area, you need to be competitive.

In this article, we’ll review a few of the most important steps you need to take to get buyers to fall in love with your house from the get go.

Complete Necessary Restorations/Repairs

Probably the No. 1 thing keeping a home from selling is its overall condition. It’s a lot of work to get a home ready to sell. Understandably, some sellers try to cut corners.

Evaluating the repairs and restoration to be done before listing can be complicated if your house is very large and/or you’ve been living in it for many years. This is something that your Denver real estate agent can coach you through.

If you can get the interior and exterior of your home in great show condition, you’re going to win buyers hearts when they find your home online.

Minimize Your Footprint

Buyers have a hard time imagining themselves in a home if it is covered in someone else's stuff.  To do this you need to act as though the home is no longer yours, and pretend that you are just temporarily staying there.

Remove all of your personal pictures from the walls and use minimal decorative items throughout the house. It may be a difficult step for some, but it’s definitely...

Why Hire a Realtor in Denver?

Hire a realtorWith all the information available online to homebuyers and home sellers today, it’s no wonder that many are starting to think they can complete a transaction without the help of a real estate agent. Even in a highly competitive market like ours, some are asking themselves, “Why hire a realtor in Denver?”

More people than ever are thinking they can sell or buy a property through the internet or even through traditional, offline channels without professional representation. A few may be successful, but the vast majority are not.

If you’re wondering why, in the age of the internet, someone still needs a real estate agent to help them navigate the housing market, we’ve got six great reasons for you.

1. A Valuable Buffer

You may not realize this, but just like the internet, real estate transactions are filled with spam. If you’re a seller, your agent can save you significant time by acting as a filter blocking countless “lookie loo” phone calls that have no chance of resulting in a purchase. Agents reduce your focus to the serious buyers, saving you plenty of time, annoyance, and stress in the process.

2. Real-World Neighborhood Knowledge

If a real estate specializes in a particular neighborhood, no one knows that area better. They will know where to find the most important comparable sales, how good the local schools are, what the demographics are, and all the information that may affect your decision. It’s one thing to look up recent home sale prices on a real estate website, but it’s way more valuable to have a real estate agent who can tell you that the home down the street that just sold for $300,000 was originally on the market...

Home Staging: Does it Make a Difference?

Staging WorksHome shoppers often assume they’ll be able to look beyond empty rooms or ugly decor to find the true potential of a property. Unfortunately, in reality, they rarely can.

That’s why new construction builders rely on luxuriously finished model properties to sell buyers on homes that haven’t been built yet. And it’s also why so many real estate agents tell their home seller clients to invest in home staging.

Despite the obvious advantages of providing potential buyers with the visual suggestion of the lifestyle they aspire to, many sellers wonder if home staging really makes a difference. The answer is a resounding yes -- if it’s done right, of course.

Here are some expert home staging tips that are helping Denver home sellers get more money for their homes right now!

1. Curb Appeal

Not sure where you should begin? Sprucing up interiors is a must for any home sellers, but home staging isn’t just about living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Realistically, home buyers are going to make up their mind about your property within the first 30 seconds of a visit, maybe a minute if you’re lucky. They might even know whether they’ll buy or not as they walk up to the front door. That makes exterior spaces just as important as interiors.

Trim foliage, remove dead plants and old mulch during growing season and add external lighting. That’s an easy DIY home staging action plan to get started with.

2. Know Your Buyer

Targeted staging is the new paradigm. Specific...

Tips for Selling a Home in Denver or Any Competitive Market

Even with demand for real estate reaching all time highs, selling a home in Denver still comes with plenty of challenges. In a highly competitive market like this one, decisions have to be made quickly and mistakes can be more costly.

 

Whatever you decide to do, following a clear strategy is a must when marketing your home against stiff competition. Here are some tips to he

 

Work With a Professional to Choose a Price

 

Price is always a huge factor, but it becomes especially important in a competitive market. It's often the first thing home buyers look at when browsing home listings. Therefore, it's easy to see why choosing a price point can be the most difficult decision sellers have to make. This is why you need a real estate agent capable of looking at deeper market trends to help you maximize every penny of potential value without scaring away potential buyers.

 

For help on setting the best possible price, Check out our page on pricing your home, use our free market analysis tool, or contact us today for a one-on-one discussion of your property and your financial goals.

 

Make Your Home Distinctive

 

Home buyers see many homes during their shopping experience. The ones they are most likely to remember – and ultimately bid on -- are the ones that were somehow able to make a deep first impression.

 

There are a number of ways you can strategically improve your home so it can stand out and leave a lasting impression. Some sellers opt to repaint interiors in eye-catching colors that have wide appeal, some upgrade fixtures throughout the house and others invest in renovations or additions. Focusing...

How to Sell a Home in Denver as an Empty Nester

The kids have all moved on to college dorms, apartments, or their own homes and left you with an empty nest… now what? Should you stay in your home or sell it? It’s not an easy question to tackle.

 

Since your family home has likely been one of the biggest investments you’ve ever made, it’s understandable if you’re a little apprehensive about either selling or staying. If you’re approaching retirement or have already left the workforce, a big real estate decision like this one will feel even more stressful.

 

To ensure that you make the right choice for your financial circumstances, we recommend a four step process to determine what you should do with your home now that you’re an empty nester.

 

1) Assess Needs

 

If you built or bought your home when you had to make room for multiple children, you are going to find yourself with entirely too much house once they have moved out. That might not seem like a real problem at first, but consider all the extra time and money required to heat, cool, and maintain a family-size house and yard. It might be more than you’re willing to take on at this point in your life. If you’re going to be traveling a lot, that makes downsizing an even smarter solution.

 

At the same time, if you don’t feel like you have too much house and the market, your tax situation, the circumstances in your life, or a lack of inspiring housing alternatives suggests that it’s not a good time to sell, than it might be better to stand pat for now. Let the situation and your needs dictate your decision.

 

If you plan to stop working soon, it would be wise to talk with a financial advisor specializing in retirement financial planning in CO before you make a decision on your home.

 ...

Should Home Sellers Consider Basement Finishing?

Homeowners often look at their unfinished basements with rose colored glasses, imagining how it is only one remodeling project away from becoming a home bar, a high-tech media room, a man cave, or more.

Dreaming about the untapped potential of a basement is all well and good… until it comes time to sell your home. At this point, it comes down to hard facts and figures. It’s time to figure out whether or not it would be a sensible investment to remodel your basement shortly before selling.

Competing with Other Homes on the Market

If the other homes in your price range or general location commonly have unfinished basements, a remodeling project would give you a huge advantage over them. Your new space would be a major selling point that you could highlight in listings and show off to buyers who come to your property in person.

If a lot of competing properties already have finished basements, that might be an even better reason for you to move forward with a remodel. You don’t want to be working at a disadvantage – especially if you have a tight time frame in which to sell.

Crunching the Numbers

The cost of basement finishing can run from $10,000 all the way up to as much as $60,000 or more, depending on the size and complexity of the project. In congested real estate markets where square footage is always at a premium, a finished basement is a highly valuable commodity that could easily provide positive return on investment in the form of more interested buyers and a greater sale price.

Choosing professional basement finishing in Denver will ensure you get the best possible results...

Clean Tile Surfaces Before Selling Your Home

Getting ready to sell your home? Then you want to make sure that it's in the best possible condition to present to prospects.

If you’ve already taken steps to enhance your home’s curb appeal and clean out any clutter, the next item on your home seller’s checklist should be to revitalize the interior surfaces that catch the eye. Professionally cleaning tile floors, counters, showers, tubs, and more before you open your doors for an open house is a smart choice.

Tile floors are typically found in the kitchen and bathrooms -- two areas that prospective buyers like to obsess over. These areas are often deal makers or deal breakers. To ensure that they impress, hire a professional to bring your tile surfaces (including the tile counters and walls) back to like-new condition.

If you notice any dingy grout or chips in the tile, you'll definitely want to consider professional repair and replacement.

To ensure that your tile looks fresh for prospects, here is a rundown of the things you need to keep in mind:

  • Disinfect and clean the surface of the tile and grout: If your tiles have been ignored for a while, make sure to get rid of dirt, stains and mold that may have accumulated on the surface and in the grout.
  • Repair tile that is hollow and loose: This will make sure that your tile is structurally sound. This task can be a bit tedious and time-consuming, so it's recommended that you hire an expert for this.
  • Replace tile that's chipped: If you find any cracks or chips in your tile, have them replaced before open house.
  • Consider adding tile: If you don't already have tile in your kitchen, bathrooms or other areas, consider having it installed. A lot of people love the look of tile and...

2015 New Year's Resolutions for Home Sellers

Want to make 2015 the year you sell your home? Then you need to familiarize yourself with the current market. Today, selling is much different than it was a decade or more ago. To help you realize your goals, you can use the following tips as your New Year's resolutions to successfully sell your home.

Make Your Ads Appealing

The Internet is a key battleground for home sellers these days, so make sure your listing has what it takes to stand out online. A lot of people are using mobile devices to complete property searches, so pictures of your property need to be optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Don't Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You

Your home is a place that holds a lot of memories for you and your family, but don't let this hinder your ability to sell it. Think of your house as an investment rather than your home. If you're too sentimental, you may reject a fair price or fail to negotiate with a buyer who is serious.

List Your Home Once You're Serious

Before you put your home on the market, make sure that you are emotionally ready to move forward with your decision. Also, make sure that you are prepared to make a quick sale. You’ll need to:

  • Completely clean and de-clutter
  • Know your sale price
  • Be ready to find a new place to live

Hire the Best Agent

Make sure you hire a real estate agent with a good track record. Having the best agent on your side can make all the difference when you want to achieve top sale price or sell within a tight timeframe. For those in the Denver area, trust the Neir Team to help you sell your home. Parties seeking to sell their ...

Why Hire a Denver Realtor Part 2 - Ready to List

Why hire a realtor?Listing your home for sale can be very overwhelming.  Where do you start?  What price should you sell for?  Is everything ready?  Are there any fixes to be made to the home beforehand?  The information below is why you should hire a realtor to help with your real estate transaction.

The first step is finding a professional real estate agent that you trust. The process of selling a home is a large one with many obstacles and legal pitfalls. Choose an agent with a good track record and with plenty of experience in your neighborhood.

The next step involves selecting your list price. This is another very good reason to hire a realtor. The market dictates the price of Denver real estate, and all real estate for that matter. A home is only worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will actually pay for the property. So, in order to determine what s piece of real estate is worth you must examine what other, similar properties have sold for. The general rule, select sold properties within 1 mile of the subject property and that have sold in the last 6 months.

Once the market price has been determined you have a decision to make. Are you going to list your home at the market price or go for more? This is a critical decision. If you decide to shoot for more than market price, as many do, be mindful of your decision. We live in an information age and buyers have access to listing data. It is easy to determine when a home over priced. This may cause a decrease in the number of showings as buyers may eliminate the home as overpriced. The second detriment to over pricing your home, the longer it sits on the market the more stigmatized the property becomes. Buyers see long days on market as something...

The Advantages of Working with the Kentwood Company | Pocket Listings

Pocket ListingThere are seemingly hundreds of real estate companies in Denver. And with each company come hundreds of brokers. When it comes time to buy or sell a home, all of these choices in brokers can be overwhelming. But all companies are not created equal. The Kentwood Company is a network of three offices and hundreds of professional agents, working together to buy and sell more real estate per agent, in Denver, than any other company. And one of their secret weapons is the pocket listing. But what is a pocket listing, you may ask?

There is a vital timeframe in between the moment a broker signs a listing contract and the moment the listing is actually put on the market. It is almost as though the broker has a listing sitting in their pocket, waiting for news of the perfect buyer or the time to make the listing live. This is a pocket listing and when that broker is part of a larger network, it can be incredibly valuable, especially in a low-inventory market.

For instance, each of the three Kentwood Company offices have weekly meetings, where brokers meet and talk about any new listings that might be coming up. With so many buyers interested in purchasing right now, if your Kentwood Company broker is getting ready to list your house, having them spread the word throughout the company can save you time and money. Knowing the answer to “what is a pocket listing” will keep you in the loop with your broker and increases the chance of selingl your house before it even hits the market.

Kentwood Companies

On average, 17% of the homes sold by the Kentwood Company...

How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Hiring a Realtor

Hiring a RealtorEveryone knows that when it comes to selling your house, the most important, and first step, is to hire a realtor. Real estate is obviously their area of expertise and a broker can help sell your home faster, for more money, and make your life a little easier. But when it comes to hiring a realtor, knowing how to select the right agent in Denver is crucial. To help with this process, it is just as important to focus on what not to do.

Do not hire a broker simply because they agree with the selling price you want. Many times, sellers think that their house is worth more than it actually is, and that can lead to an unexpectedly long time on the market and dissuade potential buyers. When hiring a realtor, listen to their opinion of the price and how they came up with that number. Good real estate agents use years of experience and knowledge to price your house at a figure that will help it sell quickly and for the most money possible. And keep in mind that Denver real estate brokers know this market better than anyone else and stay on top of the ever-changing trends.

Just because a broker offers you a lowered commission does not mean they are the best choice. The famous saying, “You get what you paid for,” is never more applicable than when hiring a realtor. If a broker is offering to be paid less, they are also going to work less, market less, and push less to get your home sold. With that reduced commission, they have less incentive to spend money on the marketing your home may need. How to select the right agent in Denver can be a tough choice, but you want a broker who will work hard for you throughout the entire experience, not give you a lower sticker price just to get you to sign a contract.

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Five Factors That Can Make or Break the Sale of Your Home

Five Factors That Can Make or Break the Sale of Your Home

Help selling your home fastLike most people know, selling a home is not simply cut and dry. There are endless factors that go into the successful sale of a home, from the blatantly obvious price point to the lesser-known curb appeal. But in the end, there are five crucial factors affecting home sales that can either help, or destroy, a deal.

Pricing your home correctly is key. Many sellers want to price their home at what they paid for it or what they think it is worth. In reality, this could lead to months, even years, of sitting on the market and a rude awakening. In order to sell your home fast, hiring a realtor will allow your house to be priced realistically. A professional realtor knows that the selling price of your home is actually based on similar homes in your area that sold within the last 6 months. This will create an accurate picture of what your home can sell for, not what you think it should sell for.

Keeping your home in top condition is a huge factor affecting home sales. Buyers want to see a clean, airy, and welcoming home, not one in dire need of a good washing. The majority of people looking to buy a home want something move-in ready, and any repairs you have neglected could turn off these buyers. So when selling your home, spend the up-front costs to make your home shine, as in the end, it could net you more money, especially in this seller-dominated market.

Take note of your competition. This comes back to pricing and home condition. If your home is overpriced and in poor showing...

The Dos and Don’ts For Selling Your Home in Denver

The Dos and Don’ts For Selling Your Home in Denver

Selling you home in denverThere is no doubt that selling your home in Denver can be a stressful and overwhelming time. From strangers walking through your personal space during showings to constantly trying to keep your home in top shape, the whole process is tiring. But in order to sell your home quickly and as stress-free as possible, there are a few Dos and Don’ts that all sellers should be consciously aware of.

The Dos:

By far the most important piece of advice that all homeowners should listen to when it comes to selling their home is hiring a licensed realtor. Many people think that they can price and sell their home on their own, but this could not be farther from the truth, especially in this volatile market. Using a licensed realtor substantially lowers the liability exposure for the home owner. The Colorado Real Estate Contract is 17 pages long and should be thoroughly explained by an expert broker to avoid unintended legal ramifications. A licensed realtor knows more about selling your home in Denver than anyone else. They know how to price it correctly; they have a huge sphere of connections and contacts that most non-realtors do not; and they have access to comparable homes in the area.

If your house is vacant, stage it! This will not only help with selling your home, but it will also take away a lot of the guess-work buyers go through when it comes to touring a vacant property. Staging generally creates a clean, open, and welcoming environment, and also portrays a “turnkey” feeling...

The Advantages of Home Staging

The Advantages of Home Staging

The advantages of home stagingFor many of those selling their homes, staging may seem like a waste of money. Why would you pay someone to set up furniture in a house you just moved out of? It is a valid concern and many homeowners struggle with this decision when it comes time to list their vacant property. But there are numerous benefits to home staging that more than out weigh its costs and can even help you sell your home faster and for more than asking price. 

Habitually, human beings are very visual. But that does not mean we do not need a little help. As a homeowner who is selling a house you have lived in for a number of years, you visualize the living room with the furniture that has occupied it previously. But to a buyer who has never seen the living room before, it might look just like a big, empty space. A solid advantage of home staging is helping the buyer visualize the space, and potentially, their life there. A bedroom may seem smaller than it actually is, until a bedroom set is placed in there and the true dimensions of everything come together.

Another powerful advantage of home staging is its appeal to buyers and brokers alike. A broker is more inclined to show a home that is staged because staged homes tend to be cleaner and lack unexpected surprises. Buyers enjoy staged homes because they have a “move-in ready” vibe that empty homes lack. Professional stagers create a peaceful, inviting atmosphere, similar to that of model homes, that appeals to a vast majority of prospective buyers.

Some opponents to home staging may claim that “buyers want to visualize their own furnishings in the space and staging detracts from that”. In reality, a buyer may look at an empty dining room and think the...

Who priced this house? - Denver home valuation analysis.

Denver Home ValuationWho priced this house? - Denver home valuation analysis.

Home valuation is an important duty when listing, buying or making an offer on a home. In Denver the listing inventory is dropping sharply as the amount of homes being purchased is on the rise. This is shifting our market toward stabilization. We are also seeing some areas and neighborhoods where prices are beginning to rise.

Denver home valuation is subjective and there are typically 4 parties that contribute an opinion toward the perceived value. As a rule it must be understood that a property is only worth what others have paid for comparable improvements/property. 

Let’s take a look at all the parties involved in a real estate transaction and …

  1. Sellers: The single most important factor to help sell your home is the price. It is very important to hire a full service, local listing agent that specializes in your neighborhood. A neighborhood specialist will be able to complete your home valuation accurately and determine a price at or near market value. An overpriced listing will place you home in one of the only market segments not selling.
  2. Buyers: Competition is now a reality in the market. As the number of new listings fall and home sales increase the days of a “low offer” are over. It’s a difficult lesson when you  lose your favorite house due to an unreasonable offer. Select a buyer’s agent that can accurately determine the market value of the home and trends for that Denver neighborhood.
  3. Listing Agents: It’s important to determine an accurate home valuation...

Sellers, do you want feedback? An OFFER is your best feedback!

Shaking handsSellers, do you want feedback? An OFFER is your best feedback!

So you have decided to sell your home, congratulations. You have hired a realtor and come up with a compelling price based on the comparable properties that have sold in the area. You have painstakingly gone through the house to remove as much furniture as possible while still making the home feel warm and relaxing. You have spent countless hours cleaning and organizing so that everything in the house is purposefully placed. The yard is immaculate and the entrance is inviting.

Now comes the listing day when the home goes active in Metrolist. You are overwhelmed with excitement as your home in top shape and you feel that buyers are really going to like it. The house gets numerous showings and you are anxious to hear the feedback on what the other brokers and buyers think. Your listing agent calls to report that some buyers have provided feedback, the house is not the one for them, while others have not provided any. You think to yourself, how hard is it for them to provide a little feedback on what they thought of the house, its common courtesy!  

The truth is – they have provided you with valuable feedback. Since they did not set up a second showing or present an offer the house was not right for them. You already know the shortcomings of the house. Perhaps it only has 2 bedrooms, is on a busy street, has a funky floor plan, needs new carpet etc. These are things that are not easily fixable and are already known. Rarely is feedback profound in uncovering hidden items that once addressed sell the home. Feedback is typically mundane and thoughtless – “the house showed well”, “the bedrooms are too small”, “we liked another one better” etc.

The real focus and...

Shadow inventory and why its important for Sellers in Denver

Shadow inventory and why its important for Sellers in Denver

House ShadowBefore we talk about Shadow Inventory we have to look at what the definition of inventory is.  Inventory in real estate terms is the current number of homes that are actively on the market. When we Realtors talk about inventory, we like to express it in the number of months. You determine this by calculating how many homes are selling in a given area vs. how many homes are on the market in that same given area. By doing this it gives us an indication as to the amount of months it will take to sell the existing inventory. For example, if there are 100 homes on the market in a given neighborhood and only 20 are selling per month, it means that we have 5 months supply of inventory.  This means that it would take approximately 5 months to sell all of the existing active inventory if no other homes came on the market.

Below is an indication of Months of Inventory and how it impacts price

  • 1-4 months of Inventory means that it is a Sellers Market
  • 5-6 months of Inventory means that this is a Normal Market
  • 7+ months of Inventory means that it is a Buyers Market.

Shadow inventory are the homes that will go in to default or are currently in default and have not yet hit the market. 

Standard & Poors did a Shadow Inventory Study and found that in Denver, there is an estimated 29.7 months of inventory that will hit our market in the next 2 years. This means that there will be a lot of people defaulting on their loans.  The majority of the reason for a high number of defaulting loans is because many of these loans are the adjustable rate mortgages that are getting ready...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your  thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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