Colorado Real Estate News

Do’s & Dont’s of Preparing to Sell Your Home

Image of a woman hanging a photo on the wall

If you’ve been considering selling your home, now is the perfect time, and if it hasn’t crossed your mind, maybe it should! Springtime is in full swing and the Denver housing market shows signs that NOW is the time to sell. As you prepare to list your property and search for your dream home, here are a few key “Do’s & Don’ts” of preparing to sell to keep in mind.

With our spectacular state offering various unique and breathtaking activities during all months of the year, we urge you to take advantage of the warming weather and embrace Colorado’s beauty. So, get outside, connect with nature and slake your thirst for adventure.

Do’s

Declutter Before Showing

  • When you’re preparing for potential buyers to walk through your home, you want them to enter into a clean and inviting space. That is why it is essential to declutter and reorganize your home. Getting rid of unnecessary items that have piled up over time will make your rooms look bigger and more spacious, it will be easier for guests to walk around and it better displays the best features of your home. Real Homes stresses that forgetting this critical step may cause buyers to worry that the clutter covers spaces that would require repairs and renovations. So, take some time to go through each room and declutter so that you can show off that built-in shelving unit or beautiful granite countertops!

Consider Curb Appeal

  • First impressions are everything, and when potential buyers arrive at your home, the first thing they see is the front of the house. Therefore, it could be worth it to spend some time and money updating your landscaping with some new shrubs and a freshly trimmed lawn or adding some eye-catching decor to the front porch.

Depersonalize the Living Spaces

  • As people stroll through your home during a showing, they want to be able to picture themselves and their significant others or families living there. By removing some large family portraits, vibrant wallpaper and scattered personalized decor and replacing them with aesthetic and neutral decorations, you give the buyer more creative room to imagine what the space would look like if it were their own. Homelight offers a great list of specific aspects to depersonalize before you begin showings.

Don’ts

Wait Until the Spring to Sell

  • While many homeowners put their houses on the market in the springtime, houses are constantly selling throughout the year! As we approach summer, don’t wait until next year to list your property. Choosing to start your selling journey NOW with ravenous buyers engaging in bidding wars can position you to earn a premium on your home sale.

Be Present At Showings

  • There are a couple of reasons why it is always best to elect not to be present when a potential buyer is visiting your home for a showing, according to SFGATE. First of all, it can make the guests feel uncomfortable and hesitant to truly examine the space, such as peek into the cabinets and explore the closets. Secondly, it can appear more like desperation to sell as opposed to your excitement for new opportunities. Finally, agents are experts in what to say and how to present the home, and while you may know more than anyone as the current homeowner, you may reveal information that the agent doesn’t appreciate. To avoid any of these potential mishaps, make yourself scarce during showings.

Make Major Renovations

  • While you may have a beautiful, updated vision for your home, Realtor.com notes that it is impossible to read the minds of your future buyers. This is why making major design renovations could be both a waste of money and a disadvantage for your likelihood to sell. Additionally, inexpensive or DIY renovations could make aspects of your home end up looking cheaper than before, which may be especially unappealing to buyers. When considering updating your home prior to putting it on the market, it is best to focus on maintenance repairs like plumbing, as opposed to updating the appearance.

Now that you have learned some of the major “Do’s and Don’ts” of preparing to sell your home, it may be time to consider exploring new options in a new place or a new house and putting your home on the market! Denver real estate is booming, so there is truly no time like the present!

Colorado Real Estate News

Three Reasons to Sell Your Home Now!

photo depicting a mother holding up her toddler daughter in a kitchen

If you are a real estate fanatic like we are, you know that 2020 has been a record-breaking year for the market and it likely won’t be slowing down in 2021. Zillow expects home values to increase 10.3 percent from November 2020 to November 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic challenges. The sales growth continues to be affected by similar factors such as strong demographic trends and a shift in buyer preference ignited by the pandemic. If you considered selling in 2020, this year proves to be just as promising. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why now is the perfect time to sell your home: 

Interest Rates Are Expected To Stay Low
Get excited because the 2020 below-average interest rates are here to stay! Last year, interest rates were below 4 percent and while they may slightly increase in 2021, they are predicted to remain low compared to historical averages. Let’s put these rates into perspective. According to Freddie Mac, December 10th had a record low rate of 2.71 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Compared to a year like 2018, where the annual average was 4.54 percent, these record-breaking rates are incredibly beneficial to all homebuyers. Buyers can secure a long-term mortgage at an insanely low rate, and sellers can capitalize on high prices. It’s a win-win situation!

There Are More Buyers Than Sellers
As demand continues to rise, inventory remains low. But this isn’t necessarily a negative situation for individuals looking to sell their homes. Buyers are eager and anxious to purchase a house quickly, especially when the real estate market provides such ideal financial solutions for potential buyers. As mentioned earlier, the low interest rates provide affordable mortgages, ultimately resulting in an inadequate supply of homes to satisfy consumer demand. With such high competition to close a deal, buyers are aggressive with their purchase offers. So why not benefit from these multiple offers and rising prices?

TIP: if you are looking to sell your home, consider investing in house repairs to amp up the curb appeal and receive a higher asking price.

Seasonality of Homebuyers.
Did you know there are seasonal trends for selling and buying a home? In previous years, the spring months are historically the best time to list a home. However, with the unpredictable and uncertain living conditions that we are experiencing, the usually defined “peak of interest” in the market has become blurred. With that being said, the most desirable time to list your home is NOW, so do your homework and prepare to capitalize on the eager homebuyers.

How Kentwood Can Help
Have we convinced you? While there is no better time to sell your home than now, we understand the process can be daunting and often complex. With our local expertise and exceptional service, Kentwood is here to guide you through a pleasurable selling experience! Reach out today!

Colorado Real Estate News

Why Sell Your House Now?

Written by Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate

From the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to the end of the year, it was a tale of two housing markets. Dead in the water and busier than ever. All indications are that we’ll see an even stronger market in 2021.

Mortgage rates are holding at record lows and are driving this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at or below 3%. 

National Association of REALTORS Research

The NAR publishes an annual Realtors Confidence Index Survey which suggests that buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. This is holding true for residential real estate markets across Colorado. However, supply does not match demand. New listing inventory is not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state provided by NAR:

You can see on the maps for Colorado that buyer traffic is high, but seller “traffic” is low. With such a limited supply of homes for sale, record-low inventory is fostering a lot of frustration for buyers.

NAR also reported recently that the actual number of homes for sale stood at 1.28 million in November, down 22% from November 2019. Metro Denver had a 0.8-month supply of homes for sale in November 2020. Fort Collins and Northern Colorado fared slightly better with 1.9 months of available inventory at the end of December 2020. In a normal or balanced market, the number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

How are Buyers and Sellers Impacted?

Buyers will need to reserve an abundance of patience with the process of securing a home while being ready to quickly act when they find the right place. Bidding wars are a frequent occurrence, in nearly all price points. We hope this gets better as we enter our typically busy listing months of February – May.

Sellers – this is a great time to begin the process of getting your house ready for market. The highest prices in any given year are usually set during those busy early spring months. With our high buyer demand and the perpetually low supply, now is a great time to sell a house. If you sell and need to find a replacement property, consider locating a temporary housing situation. That way you’ll have your proceeds banked and can be ready and competitive when you find your next home.

Key Takeaway

2021 looks to be another rip-roaring year for residential real estate in Colorado. Take advantage of low rates, pent-up demand, and the need for more inventory to hit our markets. Contact a Kentwood broker today to learn more about the specifics of your area and market and get ready to jump in.

Colorado Real Estate News

Why 4th Quarter is a Great Season for Real Estate

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

The seasons are changing and it’s time to finish raking leaves; time to make sure you enjoy the great Colorado Outdoors while it’s still semi-summer and time to consider making a move.

Before stepping into management, I spent 22 years in real estate sales. It never failed that September through November were among my best months every year.

Odds of Selling

As a homeowner considering putting your house on the market or up for lease, your “odds of selling” are among the highest at this moment. It’s not typical to see a jump in inventory during the final quarter of the year and home buyers are left to sift through what little inventory there is. Anything new on the market is usually hotly contested. By choosing to get your house on the market soon, you know the buyer pool is at the highest it’s been in years.

Buying Power

Mortgage rates remain historically, breathtakingly low. The current odds of selling your home in Metro Denver rests at 73.4%. The ratio of buyers to sellers is out of balance in the Colorado real estate market. Those are some great odds! The pool of buyers has maximum affordability at current prices because of low mortgage rates.

In the Northern Colorado market, affordability is greater, with more to choose from in mid-tier price ranges. With similar inventory issues in the communities surrounding Fort Collins, buyers are left struggling to win the day among competitive bids. Having an experienced real estate broker in your corner can help you wade through a complex and sometimes frustrating process.

Craving Space 

Buyers are craving space with another COVID winter in our future. Many people are hoping that a move to a larger property will afford them the ability to weather the storm, literally. If you are thinking of listing your home for sale, consider your location’s appeal and price carefully. The odds of selling are high, but buyers are looking for updated and move-in-ready in most cases.

It’s the season for selling! Contact any Kentwood Real Estate broker for more information on listing or buying residential or commercial property in Metro Denver, the foothills, up the I-25 corridor, and areas surrounding Fort Collins in Northern Colorado. We’re here to provide you the information you need to make an informed decision. Tis the season!

Colorado Real Estate News

Five Types of Buyers You’ll Face While Selling Your Home

Keys To Your New Home

Does it pay to know the different types of buyers you will likely encounter when selling your home? Leading Realtors think so. It pays, literally, to know what type of person lurks behind the offer so you’ll know how best to deal with them for optimum results. Following are five types of buyers you may encounter:

Type No. 1: The all-cash showoff.

All-cash buyers may seem a little cocky…understandably. With no worries of financing falling through, this buyer means business and can even ask for a shorter escrow period to seal the deal. The downside is you may have to be ready to be flexible. The all-cash buyer may aim for a lower offer or have specific contingencies in mind. The promise of cold, hard cash is more of a bragging point than a financial benefit to you. So be prepared to drop them if their demands get too outrageous.

Type No. 2: The scrappy underdog.

These buyers are the opposite of the all-cash buyer. They have little available cash for a down payment. Buyers with FHA loans can fall into this category which can sometimes be rough on sellers since FHA loans have stricter home qualifying requirements. Additionally, the more work a buyer needs to finance the property, the more work a seller might need to do as well…like contributing to closing costs.

The good news is these buyers usually know they’re a headache and, as a result, should be more flexible to your needs, as long as they don’t require cash, a later move-in date or fewer repairs

Type No. 3: The doe-eyed charity case.

These buyers are so in love with your home they submit an offer accompanied by a sweet emotional letter with photos of their children or pets. They are probably the most rewarding buyer out there, but beware. Warm and fuzzy feelings will not pay the bills. If their plea is not accompanied by a heartfelt offer, they could just be playing your heartstrings with one hand and reserving a fistful of cash in the other.

Type No. 4: The window shopper.

These buyers dream of owning a home someday. They gallivant around town, swooning at every open house, but flake when it comes to sealing the deal. They might even pose as negotiators with low ball offers. The reality is they just aren’t all that serious about buying a home. It’s best not to waste your time dealing with this type of buyer…or non-buyer.

Type No. 5: The coyote.

If you’re property has been aging on the market, you might start seeing this type of buyer sniffing. They want to see if there is a crack in the foundation or something that’s kept it on the market for so long. Don’t get intimidated.  Just be honest. Work with your Realtor to see what concessions need to be made and if the price you’re asking is right. Chances are if it hasn’t sold for a while, you might need to come down a bit.

Colorado Real Estate News

How to Successfully Navigate a Short Sale

Short Sale | Real EstateSelling a home for less than the amount the current owner owes on the property is called a short sale. Buying a home that is a short sale is different from buying a property that is actually owned by the bank, known as an REO, or real-estate owned property, or a property that is in foreclosure. Everyone shopping for a new home needs to understand how to navigate a short sale in today’s marketplace. Following is some advice from the National Association of Realtors.

Be prepared for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you’re well organized and have all the documents in place, short sales can still be a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short sale package can take several weeks or even months. The length varies by lender and location, but these benchmarks can put your situation in perspective.

  •  If you have only one mortgage, the review takes about two months.
  • If you have a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.
  • With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

Your real estate professional and attorney, with your authorization, can work with your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along. When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counter offer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. Don’t expect a short sale to solve your financial problems. Here are post-short sale conditions to keep in mind:

  • Your lender may ask you to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale.  If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.
  • Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender may be considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount.
  • Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score.  However, a short sale will generally affect your credit score less severely than foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If you are considering a short sale or buying a short sale property, consult with your Kentwood Real Estate professional.

Colorado Real Estate News

Best Improvements to Increase Home Value

Best Improvements to Increase Home ValueIf you’re considering selling your house, then you are probably brainstorming simple ways to boost your curb appeal while also adding to the value of your home. Even if you aren’t planning on selling, home is where the heart is, and is often times where a homeowner’s savings plan comes into account. No matter what your motivation, it’s always a smart idea to keep your home up to date which saves you money in the long run. Following is a list of home projects that have been proven to see the highest rate of return on investment.

1.) Replacing Your Front Door

Day in and day out your entry door works tirelessly, welcoming you home and ushering in your guests. With all that hard work, it’s no surprise that your front door will get worn out. And when it does, you shouldn’t hesitate to replace it.

Year after year, Remodel Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Index has shown that replacing your front door can make a big impact on the sale value of your home. Swapping out your front door with a new steel door will not only kick up your curb appeal but is estimated to get you nearly 100% return on your investment.

2.) Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is a room that can make or break your home sale. But you don’t need a dream kitchen remodel to see a decent return on your investment. A minor kitchen remodel that keeps a lid on investment can include new flooring, countertops and moderately priced appliances without going over budget.

On average, you can expect a 67% return on a $30,000 project. Projects that budgeted 6 – 10 percent of the home’s value tend to see the strongest return on investment.

3.) Turn an Attic into a Bedroom

When it comes to a bedroom retreat, a loft boudoir is much more than just a wonderful daydream, it can be a lucrative investment too. The floors, walls and ceilings already exist, therefore you will gain living space without having to add on to your home. This will help keep any remodeling costs down.

Turning your attic into a bedroom can potentially increase your home’s value by an average of $39,908. There will be code restrictions you have to follow, so it’s best to stick with the “rule of 7’s”. Enforcements will vary depending on your location, but most codes typically say that at least half of the room needs to be 7 feet tall, and this area also needs to be 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. But if you can cover that cost, chances are you won’t regret it!

4.) Siding Replacement

Old, worn siding not only gives your home truly sad curb appeal, but it can also contribute to a loss of up to ten percent of your home’s value. Tackling this project will require you to replace all of the siding as well as the factory trim at all openings and corners. But what material should you use?

Vinyl Siding is low maintenance, low cost, easy to install and durable, all of which help to free up time on a project like this. According to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report”, the national average of $12,000 spent on a project like this yielded an 83% return on investment for people who chose to sell their home.

5.) New Garage Door

It probably comes as no surprise that a garage door replacement will provide a boost for your curb appeal at a relatively modest price. This is also a project you can have a little fun with because there are endless options!

A project replacing an older, two-car, steel embossed door has an estimated cost of $2,300. And if you choose to sell, you can expect a whopping 87% return on your investment, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report”.

Colorado Real Estate News

Selling Your Home in the Winter

ThinkstockPhotos-162264365Winter might not seem ideal to do any house hunting, let alone move. Which means that it can be a challenging time to sell your home. On the other hand, there are less homes on the market during the winter months, meaning your home will get more attention from buyers. And these buyers tend to be motivated by necessity, they aren’t just shopping around for fun.  So if these potential buyers are willing to brave the cold to do some house hunting, you definitely want to make it worth their while. Here are a few ways to make your home stand out from the rest of the cold, snowy houses on the market.

Start With The Exterior

Clear your walkways – Shoveling and salting your sidewalks often is necessary. Make sure they are safe and easily accessible for people coming to view your home.  Clear out any broken tree branches and prune any shrubs that have overgrown. The last thing you want is the headache of a lawsuit. Not only that, but clearing these walkways helps your home look well-maintained.

Wash the windows – Make sure your windows are clean. Dirty windows can turn off potential buyers. Winter light has a way of highlighting grime that otherwise might be unnoticeable. This will also help increase the amount of light entering your house, which is important this time of year when daylight hours are shorter.

Adorn your entryway – When showing your home, you want your potential buyers to feel like they are a guest. Decorating your home for the season can make your home feel more inviting. A garland, some Christmas lights or festive greenery can create a welcoming entry way.

Warm Up Your Open HouseThinkstockPhotos-497509804

Light a fire – If you’ve got a fireplace throw a log on it and let it glow! During the winter months, homes that exude a cozy and comfy ambiance are especially attractive. Or if you don’t have a fireplace, turn up the thermostat so that your guests aren’t shivering, help them feel comfortable in their potential new home.

Have an inviting aroma – Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, so make your home pleasing to the nose! This can be anything from scented candles and incense to baking cookies, apples pies or vanilla diffusers. Be careful not overdo it though, you don’t want anyone to think you are trying to cover something up.

Protect your floors – Put down mats near the front door for your guests to place their snowy or muddy shoes. Provide a few pairs of comfy slippers for your guests to wear while viewing your home. While it might seems inconvenient to ask your potential buyers to do this, it will reflect positively on the state of cleanliness in your home.

Emphasize The Perks 

Provide photos of warmer seasons – It might be difficult for visitors to imagine your home with its beautiful landscaping and lush garden of flowers while it’s covered under inches of snow. Help your potential buyers imagine themselves in your home by placing some photos of sunnier times front and center!

Use winter as an advantage – Are there any benefits to living in your home during the winter that might make it more appealing to potential buyers? Do you live near a popular sledding hill or ski area? Maybe you have wonderful views ofThinkstockPhotos-450507471 water or the mountains that can’t be found anywhere else.

Highlight any conveniences – Be sure to point out any ways that your home is conveniently located to best handle the winter months and weather. Maybe you live next to or down the street from a school or local grocer. Perhaps your street is one of the first streets to get plowed or is plowed more often so kids don’t have to wait in the snow.