Thinking of Selling Your Home? Top 5 Things to do First

The idea of selling your home usually comes upon slowly as you start to think about life changing events that may make you want to sell.  Possibly your family is growing and you need more space or you’re going to be empty nesters and would prefer to downsize. Whatever your scenario is, having a plan going into listing your home is a great idea. Here are my top 5 things you will want to think about before listing your home for sale:

  1. Talk with a REALTOR® you trust.  My advice is that it is never too early to loop in a REALTOR®.  They can give you insight on things like the best month to list your home, some suggestions for updates to make to your home to maximize your profits, and prepare you for what to expect.
  2. If you will be listing a few months out, now is a good time to start sprucing up your home.  Tackle those projects that you know must be done — from cosmetic updates that will be eyesores to potential buyers to the big items that you know may come up in an inspection.  It can’t hurt to service items like the central A/C unit, furnace, and have the chimney cleaned.
  3. Organize dates & documents that buyers may request like age of the roof, age of appliances, dates of latest services, HOA documents, typical monthly utility bills, and warranties.  This will help answer questions from serious buyers considering purchasing your home & save time during the transaction.  You cannot hide from bad news with your house — seller’s failure to disclose known material defects with the house may result in legal liability.
  4.  Consider your options for “where to next” and plan for the scenario where your home sells fast.  If you are planning on buying another home, remember that it usually takes at least 30 days to close on a home if you are getting a loan.  You are going to want to talk with your REALTOR® about your options if you are buying & selling at the same time, as well as a lender if you plan to get a loan on your next home purchase. You don’t want to be left homeless with no plan in place!
  5. Start to de-clutter and prepare for the move.  Less “stuff” in a house looks better to potential buyers and will help make the transaction period less stressful for you. You will have a lot of to-dos with the real estate transaction itself, the less stress you have with packing up & moving, the more you will thank yourself.

Once you & your home are prepared for the sale, your REALTOR® will get to work listing your home for sale.  You may want to review my past blogs on “Improving Your Home’s First Impression” &  The Seller’s Roadmap to further prepare yourself for the sales process.

Once your home is listed – support your REALTOR® and respect their opinion on the process.  Try to be as flexible as you can with showings & open houses and keep your house clean & presentable.  The easier it is for buyers to come in and see your home, the more traffic you will get with prospective buyers.  The more enjoyable the experience is for the buyer in your home, the more positive of an impression it will have on them.

Good luck & happy selling!

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If you need assistance from a local REALTOR® to sell your home in the Boulder-Denver areas, I would love to help!!  Please reach out via email at beth@goodacreproperties.com or through the contact info below.

 


Finding the Right Neighborhood In Your Home Search

If you’re a home-buyer searching for your perfect home, you probably have a checklist of criteria that you are looking for: certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a modern kitchen maybe, or open floor plan.  One thing that should be high on your list too (and can be overlooked) is the community and neighborhood.  Factors like walkability, HOA (Home Owners Associations), access to walking trails, schools, even neighbors’ upkeep of their homes should all be something to consider too.  Trulia words it perfectly in a recent article I read:

“You can knock down walls and repaint your new home all you want, but when it comes to your neighborhood, you take it as it is. But if you choose the right one, that can be great news.” 

Here are five tips to help you choose a home in a community that is right for you.

  1. Overall ask yourself about the type of scene you are looking for in a neighborhood – a quiet one or a more lively scene.  You may love hanging out in a particular part of town, but when it actually comes to living there, you may find that all the other people hanging out there too & making noise isn’t exactly what you had in mind.
  2. How did you feel on your first impression of the neighborhood?  Did you mind that there were RVs and cars parked all around on the road and in driveways? Did you see many houses that are run down or yards that need work?  Neighborhood associations often have rules around parking on the roads, general upkeep, and even aesthetics of the houses.  If you are concerned about the appearance of your neighborhood as a whole, maybe a one with a HOA is the right for you.  If you didn’t have a good feeling at first of a particular neighborhood, you may want to stick to your gut.
  3.  Decide if walkability is important to you and if so – make sure you understand what is defined as within walking distance.  For example – if you see a house listed as highly walkable, you may have an image of walking to cute “Mom & Pop” shops and cafés only to realize, it is walking distance to a strip mall with only fast food chains and a gas station.  Go visit the house and park the car… walk around and get a feel for the neighborhood & the walks you will go on.
  4. While you are out walking, talk to the neighbors.  What better way to really hear the ins and outs of an area than from a neighbor that already lives there.  There may be complaints or positive features that aren’t obvious from you quick visits.
  5. Check the surrounding features such as whether there are parks or walking trails close to the house.  Also look for elements that may affect the day-to-day living like being near a loud, active train or even a tourist attraction that will bring heavy traffic.  It is also good to look at the school ratings in the area even if you don’t have children as higher rating schools will be better for resale.

In the end, you want to get into a home you love in an area that is right for you.  Taking the extra steps to really study the area as much as the home will pay off in the end.

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If you or anyone you know needs help on their Boulder-Denver home buying search, I’d love to help!  Please reach out through the contact form below or emailing me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.

 

 

 

 


Early Fall Home To-Do List

As the days start to get a little cooler and there is a chill in the evening air, most of us can’t help but think about the fall days ahead.  With that comes cozy warm layers, hot drinks, comfort foods, and the start of the leaves changing colors (my favorite time of year!).  However, with this transition also comes a home to-do list you will want to consider to prepare your house for colder days ahead.  Read below for some key things to plan for.

  1. Do an initial check of your roof & gutters.  It’s generally fine to wait until the majority of the leaves have fallen to clean out gutters and downspouts, but now is a good time to check for debris, fallen sticks, or seals that look worn-out.  Make sure you don’t see obvious signs of damage or wear on your roof, especially around vent pipes and chimneys.  If you do, schedule repairs before the harsh winter starts as worn seals or damage could cause house leaks.IMG_1080
  2. Schedule chimney clean-ups. Make sure your fireplace is clean & safe for the upcoming year, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace.  A dirty chimney can be a fire hazard. Creosote, the sticky substance that remains after a fire, is highly flammable.  A chimney sweep is an easy & relatively cheap maintenance item you should not avoid.  
  3. Touch-up exterior paint.  One of my first blogs was about how important it is to stay on top of exterior paint.  Review your exterior for chipping paint and prioritize touching-up areas where you know snow may accumulate in the winter.IMG_0049
  4. Schedule a tune-up for your heating system.  Make sure your heating system is working optimally by scheduling a tune-up.  Depending on the age of your system, you may only need one every other year.  Ask your heating professional how often to schedule so you are aware moving forward.
  5. Cover-up or remove A/C Units.  September is the time to remove A/C window units – it is ideal to remove them vs. putting on a cover as it minimizes winter heat loss if you can close the window.  If you have central A/C, you’ll want to turn the system off to avoid it flipping on in an unusually warm winter day.  Hose or blow off the air conditioning unit to remove leaves, small branches, dirt and dust. Ensure it dries completely and then cover the A/C unit with a protective cover for the season.  You may want to call a local HVAC company to see if there are other preventative items you should do to keep your system in good condition over the winter.
  6. Order Firewood.  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now is a good time to order a delivery of firewood for the season.  If you can, don’t store large quantities of wood directly against the house, which can encourage bugs & pests, but do keep it covered from moisture such as rain and snow.  IMG_0848
  7. Schedule to winterize your sprinkler system. When temperatures start to fall, it’s time to winterize your sprinkler system. Your lines must be drained or blown out before the first hard freeze as the sprinkler system can be damaged from below-freezing temperatures. 
  8. Add weather-stripping.  For old, drafty windows and doors, weather-stripping can help retain heat and stop drafts.  Check old weather-stripping to ensure it is working properly and help ensure window & door gaps are as sealed as possible for the upcoming cold days.

After all your hard work, plan to enjoy the wonderful season of fall!  Go buy a new candle (I love Yankee Candle’s Autumn Leaves) and plan a foliage drive to see the gorgeous changing leaves in your area.  Enjoy!

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Real Estate Tip: Properly maintaining your HVAC systems, roof, & chimney will help avoid costly surprises at inspection objection if you are trying to sell your home.  If you have any questions related to preparing your home for sale, I would love to help.  Please contact me below.


The Seller’s Roadmap

Selling your home can be an emotional process so it’s best to go into it knowing what to expect.  If you are thinking of selling your home, you will first want to meet with a real estate professional so they can help walk you through the steps to getting your home sold.  There is no commitment for that initial meeting – you are ensuring that you & the real estate broker will work well together and the work the broker will put into selling your home is what you expect (and deserve!).  The broker will do a market analysis and pull comparable homes that have sold recently to determine an appropriate price for the house.  As difficult as it may be, it is important to review the facts and be open-minded about the price the agent is providing.  Many sellers have an emotional tie to their home and may see their home in a more subjective light than the traditional buyer will.

If you decide to move forward with listing your home, you will want to prepare your home to be sold.  A good real estate broker should be able to help provide insight into what buyers will be looking for – plan to be open-minded in hearing their recommendations.  Your broker is offering advice based on a broad buyer audience, whereas your style may be more for one particular taste.  You will want your home to be in the best possible condition so plan on things like touching-up paint, making repairs for defects such as a broken door or leaky roof, de-clutter, enhance your home’s curb-appeal, eliminate odors, and clean to make your house shine.

Once your home is ready, your broker will list it for sale.  At a minimum, your broker will put up a for-sale sign and list it in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  You deserve more than this so ensure your real estate broker will be putting forward a full marketing plan to sell your home from events to advertising, social media, direct outreach, professional photos, and more.  The job of a real estate agent is to MARKET your property to get it sold.  You need an agent that knows how to do marketing to get the home sold quickly and at a sale price you are happy with.  Please contact me below for a sample of my marketing plan for listing homes.

When an offer (or multiple offers) come in on your home, your broker will work with you to help you decide which offer to move forward with or negotiate on.  When all parties agree to the offer, the contract is signed and you are officially under contract.  Be prepared for many deadlines & commitments in the following weeks to get the sale closed.  On top of preparing to move and meeting all seller obligations, it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.  Assuming each date & deadline is met and no one defaults on the contract, the transaction is complete with the closing & agreed upon possession date & time.  Cheers!!

Download the Seller’s Roadmap here.

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I would love to help you sell your home in CO.  Please contact me below to see my sample marketing plan for listing homes & I would be happy to schedule a no-obligations meeting to discuss your real estate needs.

 


What Guests Really Notice in Your Home

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While reading up about home decor & inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting article from Popsugar: “What Guests Really Notice in Your Home.”  This is a timely article given many of us are expecting guests this coming holiday season.  The list isn’t overwhelmingly long – just 6 key things to think about:

  • Scent of the Home
  • Well-stocked bar
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Lack of Clutter
  • A tidy bathroom
  • An organized entry way

The only addition I would add is …”A tidy and clean bathroom!”  You can’t fool your guests into a fresh, organized, home if your bathrooms are way overdue for a cleaning.

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Real Estate Tip: Potential buyers will notice these things too when looking at your home for sale… except for the well-stocked bar, unless it comes with the house 😉

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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.


Inspiration from the East Coast

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My husband, son, and I made the trip to the east coast for the holidays this past week. We are lucky that both sets of families are just a short Amtrak ride apart so we spent some time in MA and some time in CT. Both my husband and I grew up on the east coast and the coastal elements from CT and MA definitely shine through in my design style. My parents just recently completed a major home addition and I was so excited to see the finished product. One interesting aspect they added was an enclosed walkway between the garage and the house – a gorgeous hall of windows and a light stone tile. It’s a stunning feature from both inside and out and such a luxury on cold rainy days like we had when we were visiting.

 


A Passion for Homes

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Nearly a year ago, October 2016, I was a new mom home on maternity leave and I found myself doing a lot of soul searching.  The days were long but filled with tremendous love for this new little boy that joined our family.  Nearly every day, I would pack up the baby & harness up the dog and we would venture out on a long walk. I would find myself daydreaming on these walks. “What are my dreams?”  “What are my passions?” “What do I get excited about?”  These are questions I have asked myself a million times before but, I could never really come up with an answer that I believed was true.

Finally, after countless strolls through neighborhoods in Boulder, CO, things started to click.   I realized that I was checking out each and every home I passed with curiousity.  I realized that I dream about future homes for my family.  I constantly envision our next house project to continue to make our home comfortable, yet beautiful. I get excited seeing what other people have done with their homes.  I spend free time perusing real estate sites.

Fast forward to Fall 2017.  I’m excited to announce that I’ve made a major career shift from marketing & selling in Corporate America to marketing & selling a new product, something I’m passionate about: Homes.