The truth about online home shopping

The start of a home search for nearly everyone starts online…. Zillow.com, Trulia.com, realtor.com.  There are a ton of sites out there for people to view homes for sale, recently sold, or even get an estimate on what these sites think the value of a home is.  The problem is, this information can be widely inaccurate and this ultimately leads to disappointment & frustration for home shoppers & sellers alike.  Let me explain.

Not all homes for sale are syndicated on these public sites.

  • It is up to the seller to decide if they want their home listed on these public sites or not.  Therefore, all homes that are listed for sale on the real estate MLS ( multiple listing service) site are not necessarily shown for sale on the public sites.  Your dream property may not even coming up in your search, but it’s sitting right there on MLS.  To get a true picture of what is out there for sale, you’ll want to talk with a realtor.

Data is not refreshed in a timely manner.

  • The 3rd party sites aren’t always refreshed in a timely manner so what may still look like an active listing for sale on Zillow is actually under contract on MLS.  I’ve even had a buyer send me a house for sale on Zillow to get my opinion and when I looked at MLS, it was sold months ago.  You don’t want to fall in love with a house online to then see it’s not even for sale.

Data is not complete.

  • MLS has hundreds of fields that realtors can fill in to give a complete picture of what the home has.  The online public sites only have a fraction of that.  So if you have a specific requirement in a home, you may think it’s perfect from your search online, but once you actually see the home or your realtor does the digging for you, it turns out to be missing one of your requirements.

Online home value estimates are widely inaccurate.

  • These public sites are using an algorithm and do not take into account the true details of a house.  The public sites don’t know about improvements that have been made to the home and if information like the number of bedrooms or square footage is off, the online estimate will be off.  These sites also use comparable sales for their data points and what they think is a comp, may not be a comparable property when you look at the true factors of the houses.

Even with these points, I do still support buyers shopping online.  It is a good way to get a taste of the different types of homes & a general idea of what is out there.  Once a buyer has spent time searching online, the safest bet is to share what they found with a realtor and go look at the homes in person.  Pictures online can be hiding some important characteristics about the home and you can only get the true picture until you are on the property.

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If you have been poking around online on your own and you want to share with a REALTOR® what you have been looking at in Colorado, I’d love to help!  Please email me at beth@goodacreproperties.com or reach out via the contact information below:


Hottest Home Trends of 2019

With this post, I am not trying to pretend like I am a design expert, but being a REALTOR® and someone who is interested in “all things home”, I do read a lot of home articles, posts, and blogs.  Lately, I feel like one after another is about the hottest trends to expect for 2019 – from paint colors to interior design, furniture design, and overall home. If you have plans for redecorating or want to refresh some of your spaces, it can’t hurt to know what experts believe will be resonating in 2019.  I have gathered together some of the more valuable articles I have read and pulled out a few consistent points I am seeing across sources.

Predictions for what will be hot in 2019:

  • More bold, vivid, high-contrast patterns and more vibrant accent colors
  • Pantone declares Living Coral is the color of the year. What it conveys: Life-affirming, optimism, joy.
  • Earth tones: all versions of sand and earthy colors like ochre, burnt gold, and terracotta like Sherwin-Williams’ 2019 color Cavern Clay
  • Art Deco influence to become more prominent in the coming year
  • Ornate & textured walls and wallpaper
  • Antiques and handmade, custom pieces – return to handcrafted authenticity
  • Live Greenery and biophilia (the innate tendency in human beings to focus on life and lifelike process)
  • Innovative uses and mixing of metals 
  • Matte Black

If you have some time to read more for yourself, here are a few of the best articles I have read for 2019 predictions: 

All in all, I believe what is most important is that you make design decisions that resonate well with you & your family.  If you aren’t a fan of a certain style, don’t try to force it because some people say it is “in style.”  And lastly, I still stand by the importance of timeless design decisions for major renovations if you want to maximize the resale value of your home which I touch upon in my last blog post:  Home Renovation Projects that Boost Resale Value of Your Home.

Happy planning and decorating!

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If you or someone you know has any real estate needs within Colorado, I would love to help!  I support buyers and sellers primarily in the Denver-Boulder areas. Please reach out via the contact form below to start a conversation about how I can help you:

 

 


Home Renovation Projects that Boost Resale Value of Your Home

Many home buyers that are considering home renovation projects usually want to make sure they are investing in something that will raise home values and appeal to home buyers. Even if there are no plans to sell soon, it is wise to keep resale in mind for home renovation projects.  Prioritizing your spending into areas of the home that will help boost resale values is a smart approach.  Read more for tips on how to help with your planning:

  • Kitchens.  Nearly every buyer is pleased when they see a beautiful kitchen, even buyers that aren’t afraid of projects.  Kitchen remodels can be expensive so even if the rest of the house needs work, buyers are happy to see that one project checked off the list.  If you are planning any home project, starting with a kitchen update really should pay off in the end.   Overall make sure the layout is functional – does the flow work for cooking & entertaining?  Know that plenty of counterspace & storage is important to buyers and many will be pleased with an island in the kitchen as long as it doesn’t make the space too cramped.  New energy-efficient appliances will benefit you as a homeowner and look appealing to future buyers.  Finally, if you are going to update things like cabinets, countertops, the backsplash, and lighting try to stay with design decisions that are timeless.  Any unique features that only appeal to a certain type of audience will narrow the pool of buyers that appreciate the work put into the kitchen.
  • Bathrooms.  After the kitchen is done, move onto the bathrooms.  Same rule applies with keeping the updates appealing to a broad audience.  You want to create an attractive space that has a clean and updated feel.   You can still have fun with your updates – maybe consider an accent wall behind the vanity or toilet or new, modern mirrors & lighting.  Keep in mind that many buyers still want at least one tub in their home so don’t plan to get rid of all bathtubs in your house, no matter how trendy those stand-alone showers are.
  • Energy efficiency.  The next item that will pay off for both you as a homeowner & for resale is how efficient the home is.  Check the age of the furnace or boiler, hot water heater, & A/C units – consider updating with new models that work more efficiently. Leaky doors and windows affect your heating and cooling bills and is something buyers will notice.  If you don’t want to replace your windows & doors, you can update weather-stripping or reseal the windows to see if that helps.  If you have poor insulation in the house, you can improve the quality of the insulation.
  • Exterior.  First impression makes a difference so investing in exterior updates will be beneficial as well.  Consider an exterior paint refresh, especially if you have chipping or fading paint. If you are looking for a change, but don’t want to repaint the whole house, choose a fresh new color for the front door.  For an affordable update that makes a big difference, swap out any exterior lights that may not be working or are outdated and replace with a fresh, modern look.  Lastly, investing in your yard and garden will help you better enjoy your home & have buyers see that you not only have a great house, but a great property.  Be careful with adding unique additions that may turn away future buyers such as an elaborate water feature.  A koi pond, for example, may look beautiful to some, but to others it may just look like a lot of work or even a dangerous hazard to a buyer like a family with young children.
  • Look at your floors.  If you have carpet, tiling, or wood floors that have seen better days, investing in an upgrade or refresh for the floors will be a smart decision. Flooring can really stand out — making the whole house feel clean & inviting or put off the opposite effect if the floors are in bad shape.   Focus on what you can afford – making sure to at least to update the flooring in the rooms you renovate (such as the kitchen & bathrooms) and expect to have to price the house accordingly if the floors in other areas of the home really need work.

If resale value is a major concern of yours, talking to a local REALTOR® to get their advice before starting the project can be very beneficial.  If you are in the Boulder/Denver area, I would love to help!  Please reach out via the contact information below or email me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.