Selling? Improve Your Home’s First Impression.

Your home’s first impression for a home-buyer is most often online.  How your home looks in those pictures can make a major difference on whether you will get a buyer in to your home to look at it or not.  As a realtor, I sometimes cringe looking at the quality of photos posted of a home or the messiness of a house which stands out more than the natural beauty of the home itself.  You don’t want this to be your house so read more for tips to help get your house picture-perfect ready:

#1.  Make sure you take care of the major items to prepare your home for sale like touching-up paint, making necessary repairs around the house such as broken or damaged items, cleaning carpets of obvious stains, and sprucing up your yard.  You want your house to be in it’s best shape to get top dollar.  See my earlier blog on The Seller’s Roadmap if you aren’t sure on the process of selling your home.

#2.  Make sure you hire a realtor that will coordinate professional photos for you.  Most realtors should offer to pay for these photos – if they try to convince you they can just take the photos on their phone, I’d highly suggest you start looking for a new realtor! You (and your home) deserve better.  Professional photos will help make your home shine.

#3.  Talk with your realtor about whether it is worth the investment to stage your home.  Houses that are vacant or have furniture that have seen better days may really benefit from home staging.

#4.  A few days before the pictures, take an afternoon to prepare your home for the photos.  This includes:

  • Putting away & organizing major clutter.  Try to clean off counters, tops of furniture (such as coffee tables & desks), tidy up shelving that may be overflowing with personal items, tuck away pet supplies, and put away laundry.
  • Minimize toiletries in bathrooms & freshen the space.  Too many products on the counters may imply there is not enough storage.  Plan for the photographer to open shower curtains for the photos so try to keep the shower/bathtub clean & clutter-free.
  • Check all light bulbs and replace ones that are burnt out.  The photographer will likely want all the lights turned on and it will look funny if one of two bathroom lights are out, for example.  Don’t forget exterior lights!
  • Do a thorough clean of your house.  Consider a professional carpet clean if the carpets are particularly dirty & stains visible.
  • Spruce up the yard and outdoor space.  Wash off dirty outdoor furniture, clean-up the yards and gardens, pull any dead plants, mow the lawn, put away children’s toys and games.
  • Feel free to add some additional greenery inside or out with plants, but be careful about dating the pictures to a specific holiday in case your house doesn’t sell as quickly as you hope.
  • Hide electrical cords, including any jumble of wires that may be visible under your TV console or desk.

#5. On the day of the photos, you’ll want to do a final run through sprucing up your property.

  • Clean counter-tops and do another round of de-cluttering.  Put away the majority of items on the kitchen counters such as dish drying racks, extra appliances, utensil holders, spices, etc.  You want to make your counters look as spacious as possible.
  • Wipe down hardwood & tiled floors and try to get your appliances to shine, especially stainless steel that easily show smudges.
  • Make all the beds and ensure pillows & throws look tidy on furniture.
  • Clean windows of smudges & dirt which can show up in photos and take away from the pretty windows or views.
  • Toilet seats down & neatly fold any hand towels around the house.
  • Turn on all lights – don’t expect the photographer to do that for you.

Finally, after the photos are taken – it is still important to keep the house in excellent condition for the showings.  Nice photos will help get people into your house, but you want them to be impressed once they are there too.  Keep the house clean, tidy, and odor free while the house is on the market!

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If you are thinking about selling your home in the Boulder/Denver area, I would love to help.  I always provide professional photos for my clients, advice on updates or tips to help the house sell for top dollar, an innovative & custom marketing campaign around each listing, and I always strive to exceed my client’s expectations with exceptional client service.  Please email me below for more information on how we can work together & to see my sample listing marketing plan.

 

 

 


The Home Buying Process

As a follow-up to my last blog about the home selling process, here is a guide for the other side of a real estate transaction – the home-buying process.  As with selling your home, the process to buy a house can seem complex and confusing at times.  Luckily, you can get help from a real estate professional who will guide you through the process every step of the way.  One thing some first-time home buyers don’t realize is that in most circumstances, the agent’s commission is paid for by the seller of the home, not the buyer.  So this means your representation should cost you nothing!

When you meet with a real estate professional, you will want to discuss what you are looking for in a home & ideal location so they know the parameters of your home search.  Your realtor will likely ask you pretty early on if you will be requiring a loan or paying cash.  If you are getting a loan, you will want to get pre-approved by a lender right away. This helps ensure you are searching for homes in an accurate price-range and when it is time to put an offer on a house, you can quickly have a pre-approval letter to give with your offer showing you can afford a house of that amount.  Having this pre-approval completed at the start will make the process move a lot more smoothly.  If you aren’t sure where to start with finding a lender, your broker may be able to provide recommendations.

The fun part is searching for a home!  Your realtor will search for homes in your criteria & schedule showings as appropriate.  When you are looking at homes, it is important to think beyond just the obvious like number of rooms, size of kitchen, and age of the roof.  You may want to visit my blog post about important things to consider when buying a house.  There is no magic number on the amount of homes you should see before you make an offer.  I always tell my buyers you need to have the right feeling with a house – you should feel at home in it to know it is right for you.  Once you find the right home, your agent will prepare the offer based on the price and terms you choose.  Often there will be some form of negotiation on both sides and once the parties come to an agreement, you are under contract!

The contract will dictate the dates, deadlines, & terms that must be met before closing & possession – these include items like the inspection, appraisal, due diligence documents, record & off-record title, property insurance, loan deadlines, and more.  Your broker should keep you up to speed on all upcoming deadlines and what to expect.  If you are getting a loan, you will also be getting a lot of requests from the lender on information you need to provide.  Staying on top of both of these will help make the process as smooth as possible and not risk delaying close (or worst case, terminating the contract).

The last deadlines will be the closing date & possession (not always the same date).  Closing is the transfer of funds and ownership & the day we are all looking forward to!  A title company or an attorney typically acts as an independent third-party to facilitate the closing.  Post closing & at the time of possession you can celebrate your new home and the new title of being a home owner!  Congratulations!!

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I would love to help you find your next home!  Please contact me below if you have any questions on the home buying process or would like to discuss how I can help you with you real estate needs.  Visit my testimonials page to see what others have to say about working with me.


Why is Everyone Moving to Colorado?

I’ve been asked the question: “Why are so many people moving to Colorado?” Well, the short answer is: “because the secret is out.”  The scenery here is beautiful, the weather is great, there is strong economic growth, and frankly – there is a lot to do in CO.  Many times people visit the area & then question why they would be living anywhere else. Employers are catching on to all the area has to offer as well – opening up new offices & bringing job opportunities.  Take Google’s new $130 Million Boulder Campus, for example, that will bring in hundreds of new residents to the area.  So, what do I mean by “the secret is out” – let me explain by diving further into Boulder specifically.

With over 300 days of sun per year, picturesque landscapes, and tons of recreational opportunities, Boulder offers people a great quality of life. On any given day, residents and visitors alike enjoy biking on the 300+ miles of dedicated bikeways or hiking on one of the many scenic trails that make up over 150 miles of hiking trails.  With so much beauty & opportunity in Boulder’s backyard, it is a healthy place to live both mentally & physically.  Self Magazine rated Boulder #1 in Top 10 Fittest Cities in the US (September 2017) and National Geographic rated Boulder The Happiest City in the U.S  (October 2017).

Exercise is a way of life in Boulder, but so is a good dining experience.  From restaurants that have received James Beard awards (Frasca Food & Wine) to Boulder institutions that are known for their award-winning beer and hippy atmosphere (The Mountain Sun) – the food in Boulder is good.  Very good. So good that Bon Appétit dubbed Boulder as  “America’s Foodiest Town” and Food and Wine named Pearl Street as one of the “Ten Best Foodie Streets in America.”

An added element to the restaurant scene & healthy living lifestyle is the farm culture in Colorado. With so many farms within a few miles of Boulder and an overall focus on supporting everything local, Boulder sees a lot of farm-to-table restaurants as well as an award-winning Farmer’s Market.  Every Saturday morning from April – November & Wednesday evening May – October, the Farmer’s Market is packed with people looking for everything from Colorado Peaches to Boulder Beef, local honey, fresh pasta, creamy cheese, beautiful flowers, and more.  Most will agree that leaving empty-handed is nearly impossible.

Finally, it’s not just about being healthy & working out in Boulder – there is a lot of other things to do.  Walking the pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall, watching street performers, shopping, or dining al fresco is always a good time.  Some people aren’t aware that Boulder actually has an impressive amount of top-notch craft breweries.  In fact, Boulder has more breweries per capita than any other city in the country.  And if you want to get out-of-town, Denver is only 30 miles away, there is a ski resort 20 miles outside Boulder, and Rocky Mountain National Park is only an hour away.

I think it’s safe to say this place is pretty great.  Come visit and if you are thinking of making the move to CO, I would love to be your relocation resource.  Reach out via the form below or email me at Beth@GoodacreProperties.com.

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Decor Decision Making

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This January, I finally pulled the trigger on a purchase that I had been researching for months.  I was scouring my go-to sites daily for affordable decor (Joss & Main, Wayfair, & Zulily) and after weeks of no luck, I expanded my search to my more expensive favorite retailers (Pottery Barn, Serena & Lily, and Crate & Barrel).  I found TONS of options, but I just could not for the life of me make a decision.  Believe it or not, my big decision was 2 decorative pillows for our family room couch. Crazy – I know.  Why are the small purchases sometimes the hardest!?  It took me months to decide on 2 pillows and literally 2 days to decide on a 12′ x 15′ rug for our family room.  Believe me, the rug was a lot more expensive than the 2 pillows 🙂

I think my hang-up was that the colors of our family room are so comfortable to me.  A lot of grays, blue, and white and that is something I have always decorated with.  However, I wanted to take a little chance with the pillows and put a splash of unexpected color in the room.  Our beautiful rug has a touch of mustard yellow, salmon pink, and mint green – all colors I like but wasn’t sure I wanted to highlight.  I finally decided to pull out that salmon pink and purchased 2 really cozy, cotton cable knit sweater pillows in a Paprika color.  I had gone back and forth on whether to purchase a pillow with a design or keep it simple.  In the end, I decided that the rug had such a strong pattern that simple, classic pillows would look best.  The faded “pink” turned out to fit in perfectly and I’m really pleased that the pillows made the room even a touch more comfortable. Yellow lab approved.