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This blog is for buyers and sellers in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond! Come back every Wednesday for new Real Estate tips and discussions!
 
Real Estate Updates

Debunked: 5 Common Real Estate Myths

September 16, 2020

Regardless of whether you are buying or selling your home, it is not only an exciting process filled with new beginnings, but also one filled with many unknowns. The more knowledgeable you are, the better experience you are going to have. This week I will debunk five of the most common real estate myths.

 
Myth #1: As a Home Buyer, You Don't Need an Agent
 
With all of the available apps out there like Zillow and Trulia, it has become a common myth that as a home buyer, you don't need to find an agent. These apps allow you to, with the click of a button, get in touch with the seller's agent and schedule a home viewing. And while it is nice to be able to shop from your couch, you are quite vulnerable when you skip getting a Quick read more or view full article buyer's agent.

Getting a buyer's agent will help prevent you from making easily-looked over mistakes during the buying process. You will have a licensed agent on your team, advocating for your needs. This often saves time, money, and headache. Not to mention, the buyer does not pay for their agent's commission as it is typically covered by the sellar of the house.
 
Myth #2: FSBO Will Save You Money
 
On the flip side, a common misconception is that you will save time and money by listing your home For Sale By Owner, aka FSBO. While yes, this does save you a bit on commission, it doesn't necessarily save you money. In many circumstances, a seller's agent can help negotiate a higher price.

In 2017, the National Association Of Realtor's came out with the following find: 
A home sold as a FSBO property typically sold for 25% LESS than those properties that had a broker behind the sale. For example, a FSBO property may go for $300,000, while the same property could sell for $365,500 with a real estate agent.
 
Myth #3: You Must Sell Your Current Home Before Buying a New One
 
While this one boils down to finances and the buyer's situation, it is not necessarily a bad thing to hold on to your current home as you buy a new one. Especially if the rental market is good! Having a passive income through renters can be a blessing while buying a new home and moving into it.

Not only that, but you can continue to build equity through the old home.
 
Myth #4: Pick Out Your Perfect Home and Then Get Pre-Approved
 
It is SO tempting to search for the perfect home from the comfort of our current one. With apps like Zillow and Trulia, this has become incredibly easy! However, you should always get pre-approved before getting your hopes up about the "perfect property".
Getting pre-approved will not only set you apart from other buyers during the bidding process (as it shows the sellers that you are a serious buyer), but it will also give you realistic guidelines and expectations about what home you can by with your budget and loan possibilities.
 
Myth #5: All Real Estate Agents Are The Same
 
It is easy to think that all real estate agents are the same, however, that is yet another (costly) misconception. Every agent has a different personality and skill-set—not to mention, you will want to find someone who you can connect with an trust to have your best interests at heart.
 
In terms of skill-set, one of the most significant differences between agents is whether their background is as a seller's agent or a buyers agent. Even though an agent can do both, knowing their primary focus can help you determine if they are right for your process. Same goes for commercial versus residential.

Choosing an agent that aligns with your stance as a buyer or a seller is key, and finding one that makes you feel advocated for is even better! 
 
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Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

September 2, 2020
Selling your home is a daunting task! What can make it even more stressful is trying to anticipate all of the problems, both big and small, that can arise during the selling process. For those of you who are looking to put your house on the market, be sure to take the necessary steps to avoiding these top 5 mistakes.


 
1. Don't Underestimate The Cost
 
Many first-time sellers don't realize how much it can cost to sell a house. For many cases, it can amount to almost 10% of the sale price. This can occur from buyer/seller agent commissions, inspections, repairs, and more. Additionally, for those people who have to move into a new place while they sell their old one, the added cost of having a second living location can add up temporarily.
 
2. Only Considering The Hightest Quick read more or view full article Offer
 
No matter how tempting it is to take the highest offer, it is vital to look at the written contingencies of the sale. These are conditions that have to be satisfied from the seller before the sale of the home is completed. These conditions can impact the selling process in terms of timeline, complexity, and the guarantee of the sale.


 
3. Disregarding Repairs/Costly Renovations
 
Many times, the sale of a house comes with a lengthy list of repairs. These can not only turn off potential buyers, but may also impact the value of your home. It is important to look at the most glaring issues and get those repairs completed before putting your house on the market.
 
On the flip side, be wary of making too many costly renovations with the intent of increasing your home's value. It is never guaranteed that you will recover that money put in.


 
4. Not Preparing Your Home
 
You will be showing your house often when selling, therefore it is vital to make sure that your home is camera ready! Staging your home, clearing out the clutter, and preparing your home for both in person showings and listing images will help you in the selling process. The same goes for curb appeal: make your home look inviting to prospective buyers.
 
5. Choosing The Wrong Agent
 
When selling your home, you want to work with an agent who has your best interests at heart. Take the time to do some research and interview multiple options before making your final decision. You will be working closely with your agent, and they will be helping you every step of the way. For this reason, it is vital that you select an agent that you can trust. 
 
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Home Staging Tips

August 26, 2020
The time has come for you to put your house on the market! But perhaps you don't have the budget to hire a professional stager to come and make your house ready for showings. The good news is, that you as the seller can stage your own house on a simple budget, and you can do it in a way that will be successful! (No one needs to know it was a DIY).
 


Do a Deep Clean
Take a day or two to really deep clean your home's interior and exterior. Give some TLC to your yard to give it the necessary "curb appeal".

As for the interior, start to unclutter and pack your unessential belongings. When someone comes to view a house, they want to envision their own family photos hanging on the walls, not see Quick read more or view full article yours. Make your space as neutral as possible. Not only that, but the more you organize and pack up, the bigger your rooms will look!

A few tips:
  • Remove all items from bathroom and kitchen counters. Items like coffee pots, toasters, hair dryers—all of these items can be stored elsewhere or packed up. Show as much counter space as possible.
  • Potential buyers will open the closets, so organize them! Make them look clean and uncluttered.
  • Try to pack each room by about 30-40%. Let your potential buyers imagine their life in your house—it is far easier to do this when everything is clean, organized, and open.

Choose Your Rooms
While it is important to clean every room in your house, it is not vital to stage every single one. for example, the small half bathroom just needs to be clean and tidy. Don't spend more time there than needed, anyone looking at the house will only pop their head in that room. Instead, prioritize the larger rooms: the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.
 


Decorate!
You don't have to go out an buy a bunch of new items with which to decorate your house. Instead, use what you already have! Display flowers in your vases around the house. Put certain books on display. Make it look lively and cozy, but not heavily lived in.
A few tips:
  • Set the dinner table—this will give your space a warm and inviting feel.
  • Replace all broken light bulbs and shades. All showings will be happening during the day with the lights on and the windows open, make sure those elements are in perfect working order.
  • Add a little nature to every room: whether fake or real, adding that outside touch goes a long way!
  • Place mirrors in rooms to open the space up more.
  • Use your own belongings to stage, but avoid anything that is too personal such as family photos, religious or political items, or anything that falls into the risque realm.
The trick is maintaining a balance. Buyers won't want to look closely at a house that is messy and lived in, the same way they won't want to stay in a space that feels cold and sterile. Add some personal touches, make it warm and inviting. 
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Increase your Curb Appeal

August 19, 2020

Even though we have all heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover," many of us still do that anyways. It is the same with houses—your house may be spectacular inside, but if the outside looks outdated, messy, or neglected, you will be missing out on a handful of potential buyers. Not only that, but having a well-maintained landscape can add up to 10% to the value of your home!

Gardening and Ground Maintenance
This is going a step beyond the vegetable patch. Clean up your weeds, touch up the mulch to make your plants pop and trim overgrown shrubs and bushes. Don't forget to tend to your herbaceous plants (i.e. perennials and annuals) and clean them up as much as possible.

Add some color and decoration by planting some new flowers around your home. This will Quick read more or view full article give your exterior a fresh and inviting boost! Replace or clean up outdoor plant containers and place them strategically on the porch or patio.

Water Features
This covers everything from a bird bath to your outdoor faucets. Make sure any features such as a fountain, pond, or bird bath is devoid of debris. Clean up the fallen leaves, bugs, and algae. If necessary, clean or replace the water filters—the clearer the water and the more functional your feature is, the better!

Fix any irrigation issues you may have, get the sprinkler repaired, yes it is expensive, but the buyer won't want to adopt that added expense. Additionally, any leaky faucets or places where the outdoor plumbing is faulty, address those and get them repaired prior to showing your house.

Clean Up Your Space
Lastly, make sure to tidy up and clean any outdoor living area you may have. This could be anything from the front stoop to the back patio. Sweep the leaves, gravel, and dirt away—in some cases, renting a power washer to get all of the grime off is the easiest way to do it!

Straighten up your furniture and discard of anything that is broken. Again, add some color to these spaces by grabbing some flowers. Make this space as inviting as the rest of your property, after all, prospective buyers will be imagining their life on that patio. 
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What is a Seller's Market?

August 12, 2020


The Roaring Fork Valley's housing market is currently tipping towards what is called a Seller's Market. Due to high demand, prices of homes are beginning to increase as people looking to buy is exceeding the number of available houses on the market.

Key Factors of a Seller's Market:

Economic/Situational - In many cases, a seller's market occurs when there is a boom in local labor opportunities. People are coming in for work and the demand for housing increases. In this case, it is more situational as we are dealing with the pandemic. With more people working remotely, and more people wanting to flee from their metro apartments, we are starting to see an influx of new buyers and an increase in the demand.

Interest Rates - In a seller's market, it is common to see interest Quick read more or view full article rates start to trend downwards, thus creating more buyer interest as home affordability rises. For many first time buyers, this is a very beneficial and helpful trend. However, fluctuations will always occur, which further incentives buyers to make their purchase before the rates begin to rise again.

Low Supply - When a seller's market occurs, there is usually a lower inventory of available real estate. With a higher demand for properties, this makes selling your home easier than if it was a buyer's market. In this situation, the seller has the advantage. Whereas the buyers are not so fortunate as more often than not, there are multiple buyers looking at the same property, the perfect recipe for bidding wars.

Thinking About Selling?
If you are in a position to sell you home, perhaps you have been sitting on the fence about it for a while, selling now is a good idea. Take advantage of the demand, chances are you will have multiple buyers interested and can receive multiple offers. If you have any questions about selling your house and the process that takes, please feel free to reach out!

 

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