Selling your home can feel like a daunting task. To get you started, we put together this step-by-step guide to selling your home in Colorado.
Step 1: Choose a real estate agent.
The entire home-selling experience hinges upon the competency of the real estate agent you hire.
Here are some questions to ask the Colorado real estate agents you are considering.
- Do you hire professional photographers to take pictures?
- Do you coordinate all of your showings, or do you use a service?
- What type of lockboxes do you use?
- How many Colorado homes do you sell a year, and how does that compare with the average?
- Do you have an online presence?
- How will we communicate? (email, text, social media, phone call, etc.)
- How will you promote my listing?
- What services do you offer that other Colorado real estate agents do not?
Step 2: Prepare your home for sale.
Consider having your home inspected.
Most standard real estate contracts give the home buyer the right to inspect the property, so having an inspection before you list your home will help you be prepared for anything that inspection might reveal. It will allow you to preemptively make necessary repairs to appliances, plumbing, septic, electrical and heating systems, etc.
Make your home look new again.
Deep clean your home, fix nicks or holes in the walls, touch up the paint, steam clean the carpets, add fresh mulch, and trim the shrubbery. Lay a plastic runner at the entrance of your home, so potential buyers don’t track in the elements.
Remove yourself from the equation.
Remove personal items, family photos and decorations that are too bold or eclectic. The idea is to make your home as neutral as possible, so buyers can visualize themselves living there.
Stage your home.
Staging involves removing some pieces of furniture and arranging it to create the ideal presentation.
Determine if your home needs any upgrades, before listing it.
Some upgrades pack more bang for the buck. For instance, kitchen renovations typically have a greater bearing on sale price than upgrades to other areas of the house. Ask your realtor to show you current and recently sold listings in your area. If most have features, like granite counters and solid wood floors, make sure your home can compete. Talk with your Realtor about what upgrades will have the greatest impact.
Step 3: Set a list price for your home.
Setting the list price accurately the first time influences things like, time on market and the eventual sale price.
Conduct a real estate market analysis.
Gather information on at least three houses comparable to your home. Good comparables, or “comps” should
- Be in your neighborhood
- Be around the same age and have a similiar style
- Have similar features-- square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage spaces
Educate yourself on the Colorado real estate market trends.
The Denver metro area is experiencing what we call a sellers’ market. That means, the inventory of homes for sale is low; homes don’t stay on the market very long and many properties are selling at or above their list price. That’s good news for people selling a home in Colorado; the recent boom of strong residential sales will likely increase the value of your home and lead to higher offers.
Step 4: List your home.
If you work with a COListings agent, we will publish your listing with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so any member agent can see it and arrange to show your property. Typically, your agent and the buyer's agent will share the commission. If you choose an exclusive right to sell agreement, your agent will take complete responsibility for marketing and selling your home and is guaranteed the commission, regardless who finds the buyer.
Step 5: Promote your property.
When you choose a COListings agent, you can leave promoting your home to us! We will work to market your home, schedule open houses and showings and keep you looped in during the whole process.
Step 6: Consider offers.
Interested buyers generally will give you a written offer that outlines the proposed terms of the sale. If any of the terms are unacceptable, you can make a counteroffer with suggested changes. It’s wise to think about more than just the offer price. The down payment amount, loan type, and pre-approval letter are also important. When a potential buyer has little savings and difficulty qualifying for a loan, it increases the chance the deal will fall through. As your real estate firm, we will provide guidance and support during this process.
Step 7: Disclose any defects.
Colorado state law requires you tell potential buyers about any known problems with your house. Omitting information could leave you open to a lawsuit from the buyer. Federal law requires additional disclosures for lead paint in homes built before 1978.
We will provide you with all the necessary forms and documents and advise you about your disclosure obligations. You can also find the necessary forms on the Department of Regualtory Agencies’ (DORA) website.
Step 8: Accept the purchase agreement.
The signed purchase agreement is the final document. It contains the agreed-upon terms of the sale. Once executed, it is a legally binding document. The contract to purchase will usually state the timeframe for the inspection and any disclosures. Buyers and sellers can negotiate those dates.
Step 9: Conduct post-contract negotiations.
Most real estate purchase agreements contain contingencies—issues that must be resolved before the deal is final. A common one has to do with inspection findings. As the seller, you will need to decide whether to fix any issues, adjust the sales price, or do nothing.
Step 10: Close on your home.
Sign all the documents, pay the seller’s fees and any liens. Once the buyer’s lender approves the deal, you can schedule the closing with the title company. Ideally, schedule the closing in the morning Monday through Thursday to expedite the transfer of funds. The title company will forward the buyer’s signed documents to the lender and you will receive the payment.
Things to bring when you close on the sale of your home
- A photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Keys and garage door openers
- Any applicable appliance documentation
- Receipts for any repairs
It's a pretty complex process, and it pays to have a trusted, experienced adviser in your court. So give us a call to discuss selling your Colorado home and how we can help.
If you are thinking about selling your home, you’re in luck; metro Denver is currently experiencing a strong sellers’ market. Having the market on your side certainly removes a lot of stress from the process of selling your home. However, there are still some things we suggest you do before listing your house that can reduce its time on the market, ensure you get a great sale price and make it all as painless as possible.
Pick the right agent.
This may be the most important decision you make when selling your home. Of course, we’re partial to any of COListings’ Colorado Realtors®. That’s because our team of award-winning agents have years of experience selling homes in the Colorado region. They are familiar with the Colorado real estate market and will be your adviser, your marketer and your trusted colleague through the entire home selling process.
What’s more, COListings is a real estate search engine that directly connects with the MLS to share your listing with buyers who come to our site or any other sites with MLS directories.
We hope you take a moment to learn more about COListings and our agents. But regardless who you choose, here are some things your agent should be able to do for you.
- Help you set an appropriate list price for your home
- Develop a strategy for marketing and selling your home
- Give you advice about preparing for an open house
- Show your home to buyers and market it to other agents
- Provide guidance about how to respond to bids
Do your homework.
Your agent should be the expert and able to provide guidance and advice about setting the price of your home. However, it’s helpful to do your own research as well. Study up on the comparable sales, or “comps,” in your area. Information about home sales in your neighborhood will help you determine an appropriate list price for your own house. Ask your agent to print out MLS listings for you to review.
Take a tour of your home.
Before you place your house on the market, walk through and attempt to see it from the buyer’s perspective. Remember, the idea is to create a space where other people can imagine living their lives. It’s important to take a month or so to fix things up before you take photographs and list your house.
- Consider renting a storage space and taking out the superfluous furniture, knickknacks and personal items.
- If your furniture is on the tattered side, think about renting some simple pieces to stage your home in a way that maximizes the space and creates an appealing atmosphere.
- Paint over boldly colored walls and touch up holes and stains.
- Make small repairs that will stick out to potential buyers during a walk through—burned out light bulbs, leaky faucets, broken appliances. Use WD40 to make sure everything opens easily and quietly.
- Deep clean your house. This means, clean the windows, blinds, baseboards, light fixtures, basically all the areas you typically neglect.
- Don’t forget about curb appeal. What does your house look like from the street? Make sure the grass is cut, flowerbeds weeded and any clutter or litter picked up.
- Remove any items you plan to take with you to avoid confusion. If you want to keep the window treatments or light fixtures, replace them with things you will leave behind.
Get your papers straight.
It’s a good idea to prepare yourself for inquiries about your property from potential buyers. Here are some items to pull together to be able to answer questions and entice buyers.
- Any copies of rental agreements
- Utility bills
- Tax bills
- Operating manuals for appliances and HVAC systems
- Notes about wall paint colors
- Any applicable warranties
Make sure any outstanding town or city permits are closed and any building violations cleared. Talk to your accountant about potential tax issues associated with selling your home.
Save up for unexpected costs.
When selling your home, you will incur quite a few minor expenses. From pre-inspection reports to staging costs to minor renovations, all these little bits can add up. There are also closing costs—the buyer and seller’s agents’ commission, transfer taxes and fees, attorney fees and bank fees (if you have a mortgage), title insurance and the potential repair of inspection items.
It’s helpful to make a budget for selling your home and keep track of what you actually spend in the various categories on a spreadsheet.
When you are ready to sell your house, we hope you consider COListings. One of the best things about our company is the upfront pricing structure. Our commissions vary based on the level of service we provide. We can help you sell your home for as low as 4.8% or up to 7.0% commission, based on the level of service you choose. Give us a call today to discuss the details.
Colorado cities have topped numerous “Best of” lists in the past few years. Money ranked Castle Rock, Colorado, fourth best place to live in America in 2014. In 2013, Business Insider ranked Denver the ninth best city for young adults. The AARP put Grand Junction, Colorado, on their list of 10 Sunny Places to Retire in 2012.
Working for a Colorado real estate firm, COListings real estate agents do quite a bit of traveling around, and we came up with our own short list—four family-friendly communities we think are worth checking out.
The Newcomer: Reunion, Colorado
Ok, so Reunion isn’t truly a city; it’s a master-planned community in Commerce City, Colorado, developed by Shea Builders beginning in 2001. Nearly 15 years later, Reunion, Colorado, is home to over 1,500 families.
If you’re a fan of the shiny and new, the perfectly planned and the aesthetically pleasing, you might find yourself right at home here. Reunion places a premium on fostering a sense of community among its residents with plenty of public spaces and planned activities throughout the year.
Its amenities and affordability make it a great place for young families and first-time homebuyers, as well as empty nesters looking for a safe, affordable spot to retire.
If you dig that old school, neighborhood vibe but prefer construction on the newer side, you should ask us about homes for sale in Reunion, Colorado.
Reunion is located along 104th Avenue near E-470 in the northeast Denver Metro area. The 2,500-acre community is 15 minutes from Denver International Airport and close to I-76, and US-2 and US-85.
- A recreation center
- A 52-acre central park
- An outdoor pool with interactive water features
- Buffalo Run Golf Course
- 10 miles of trails and 8 acres of lakes
Reunion is in the Brighton 27J School District. Currently, children in Reunion attend Turnberry Elementary, Stuart Middle School and Prairie View High School. There is also a no-cost charter school, Landmark Academy at Reunion, for grades K-8.
- AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $369,257
- AVERAGE SALE PRICE: $325,692
- AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET: 31
- NUMBER HOMES ON MARKET: 10
The Comeback Kid: Westminster, Colorado
Westminster, Colorado, has been attracting incomers since the discovery of gold on Little Dry Creek in 1858. In fact, the city saw such a population surge in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that the City Council created a Land Use Plan that placed a moratorium on new building projects. An effort to prevent the population from exceeding the city’s ability to provide services, the moratorium also caused some areas of Westminster to fall into decline.
Well, the plan was revised in 2012 with an emphasis on sprucing things up a bit. The city is in the process of revitalizing major thoroughfares and developing a new urban center.
In anticipation of the FasTracks 41-mile diesel commuter rail that will have a station in Westminster, the city has also started constructing new housing, enhancing shopping districts and updating streetscapes—breathing life into a once languishing area.
Basically, this town is making a comeback, so there’s no time like the present to take a look at homes for sale in Westminster, Colorado.
Westminster is a 32.9-acre northwest suburb of Denver spread across Adams and Jefferson counties. The city is located about nine miles from downtown Denver, divided by I-270 and close to I-25 and I-76.
- An extensive trail network and open space system
- Standley Lake Regional Park
- Westminster City Park
- City Park Recreation Center
- Several golf courses
Westminster has 38 primary and secondary schools. One of the best is Ryan Elementary School, which has a rating of 9 out of 10. The public schools in Westminster are part of Adams 12 Five Star Schools.
- AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $343,117
- AVERAGE SALE PRICE: $279,959
- AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET: 24
- NUMBER OF HOMES ON MARKET: 82
The Hidden Gem: Arvada Colorado
With a population of 108,530, Arvada, Colorado, isn’t exactly hidden. However, the city is often thought of as just another Denver suburb and its charm overlooked.
Arvada has a colorful history that began with settlers who came for gold but stayed to develop farms and establish homes. Its historic downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one reason the city has a small town ambiance, even as it continues to grow.
The Gold Line, an 11.2-mile electric commuter rail transit line, is scheduled to open in mid-2016. The Gold Line will connect Denver Union Station to Wheat Ridge, passing through Arvada and is spurring the renewal and expansion of Olde Town Arvada.
If you like small-town charm with big city amenities, let’s talk about finding you homes for sale in Arvada, Colorado.
Arvada covers nearly 23,000 acres. I-70 and US Route 6 are nearby, making travel from Arvada to Denver, Denver International Airport or up to the ski resorts all relatively quick and convenient.
- Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
- City of Arvada Festivals Commission
- More than 140 parks and 125 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails
Arvada has 43 K-12 schools, including 37 public schools and six private schools. Arvada public schools belong to three districts—Charter School Institute School District, Jefferson County School District NO. R-1 and Westminster School District NO. 50—and received an overall rating of 7 out of 10.
- AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $338,748
- AVERAGE SALE PRICE: $317,389
- AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET: 34
- NUMBER OF HOMES ON MARKET: 150
The Sleeper: Brighton, Colorado
Brighton, Colorado, probably isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you think about the sustainability movement. But, sustainability is actually a top priority for Brighton’s municipal government. The Brighton Sustainable movement was designed to define what sustainability means for this city and be a catalyst for positive change.
Brighton’s tree program that encourages tree planting, species diversity and water conservation and Random Acts of Kindness week are just a couple examples of how Brighton stands apart from other Colorado cities.
If you have dreamed of living in a community that actively works to improve quality of life for its residents, let us show you some homes for sale in Brighton, Colorado.
Accessible by I-76, E-470 and US-85, Brighton is about 30 miles east of Boulder, 20 miles northeast of Denver and a short 20-minute drive from Denver International Airport.
- Cultural Arts Commission
- The Armory Performing Arts Center
- Brighton Oasis Aquatic Park
- A Recreation Center
- Over 100 parks and recreational facilities
Brighton has 19 schools. One of the best schools is Foundations Academy, which is rated 6 out of 10. The public schools in Brighton are in Brighton School District No. 27J.
- AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $298,858
- AVERAGE SALE PRICE: $282,176
- AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET: 41
- NUMBER OF HOMES ON MARKET: 81
No two Colorado cities are alike, which is why we think there is something here for everyone. Give us a call, so we can help you find homes for sale in your favorite Colorado city.
Resources: MLS, GreatSchools.org
Whether you are interested in buying or selling a home in Colorado, these five trends are likely to impact the Colorado real estate market in 2015.
1. Home prices keep going up.
Across the state, home prices continue to rise. Nowhere is the trend more apparent than Metro Denver, where home prices have risen steadily since 2008, reaching an all time high in 2013. Median home prices in Denver surpassed $300,000 for the first time in 2014, and they are expected to hit $325,000 in 2015.
What it means for the Colorado real estate market
- Multi-generational households, those with adult siblings, adult children, parents and/or grandparents, are on the rise, citing cost savings as a primary reason.
- Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) are putting off buying their first home longer. In a nationwide survey, of the 20 percent of Millennial buyers who took longer to save for a down payment, 56 percent said student loan debt was the biggest obstacle.
2. Inventory remains low.
In January 2015, the Denver home market had just one month of inventory. There were just 4,300 homes on the market (in Metro Denver) in December 2014—down 45 percent from a year earlier.
What it means for the Colorado real estate market
- The lower than average inventory accentuates the price surge, with small homes (under 2,300 square feet) going at or above asking price.
- There is growing interest in condos, which is spurring the multifamily construction boom. The Denver condo market outperformed the housing market in 2014, a rare occurrence.
3. The Colorado population is getting younger… and older.
Elizabeth Garner, an expert on Colorado economic and demographic trends, says Colorado’s population is "getting older and younger at the same time.”
Colorado has always attracted young people who first began moving to the state in the 1970s, and that population of Baby Boomers is aging. The 65+ population is increasing four times as fast as the general population.
Meanwhile, Millennials are arriving in droves, as evidenced by the myriad breweries, co-work spaces and changing urban neighborhoods.
What it means for the Colorado real estate market
- Millennials are more likely to purchase real estate in urban areas or city centers—19 percent, compared with only 12 percent of older adults. This could potentially intensify demand and boost home prices in those places.
- Older Baby Boomers are more likely to purchase homes in suburban areas, or near their adult children.
4. We are seeing a renaissance in the industrial real estate sector.
Chief economist for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., Patty Silverstein, says that low vacancy rates and construction in industrial areas are only due in part to the expansion of marijuana grow operations.
This resurgence can also be attributed to the increasing popularity of co-work spaces among Millennials. These shared office spaces are popping up in formerly industrial areas, like the Riverfront North district (RiNo) of Denver. The conversion of vacant or rundown buildings into work spaces in that area has triggered the entry of new businesses, like Dinner Lab, a social dining experiment and The Source, a collective of food artisans and retailers.
What it means for the Colorado real estate market
- Formerly desolate, industrial areas could see a spike in development and new types of businesses, restaurants and art spaces.
- Young adults, who work and play in these new spaces, will likely be interested in buying real estate and settling in these areas that were previously not considered for residential use.
5. Urbanization swings across the state.
A national trend toward creating denser, more urban and walkable communities, urbanization can be observed throughout the Denver Metro area and beyond.
A prime example is the RTD FasTracks Program, a transit expansion plan to build miles commuter and light rail, add bus lines and improve bus service making it easier to access public transportation across an eight-county district.
This project will likely benefit the overall Colorado real estate market, by making cities further from downtown Denver more accessible for commuters and increasing property values in the areas surrounding the new tracks and stations.
What it means for the Colorado real estate market
- Property values in suburban cities and smaller towns will likely increase, as they become transportation hubs.
- Areas near the new tracks and stations will see more construction and the arrival of new businesses. Take a look at the FasTracks program schedule to learn about the areas that will be affected.
With all the changes in the Colorado real estate market, it’s never been more important to be represented by a licensed real estate agent in the purchase or sale of your home. COListings is a great place to search for homes for sale in Colorado and gather information on buying or selling a home.
When you’re ready to take the next step, we hope you contact us. We will connect you with one of our real estate agents who will help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of Colorado residential real estate.
Denver Business Journal,
Colorado Association Of Realtors,
Inside Real Estate News,
National Association of Realtors Generational Trends Study
Amy Ryan and Team Join the COListings Real Estate Firm
Top Selling Agent Joins Locally-Owned Colorado Real Estate Firm and Online Real Estate Search Engine
COListings, Inc. is proud to announce the latest member to join its award winning real estate team. Amy Ryan,a top-producing real estate professional based in the Reunion area of Commerce City, Colorado, has recently joined COListings with the hope of further extending her reach in the community and surrounding areas.
COListings.com, a newly-formed Colorado real estate company, has been very active in the communities Amy serves, and Amy saw an opportunity to join the firm and participate in the activities the company is doing on a local level to better the community. Amy’s real estate career has been very fruitful, starting at the age of 21 with her first investment property, she decided her calling was to assist others achieve their home buying dreams.
She has worked in several states, starting in Buffalo, New York. In 2008, a move to Fort Worth, Texas, gave her the opportunity to sell new homes for a local, faith-based builder. Her combined experiences has now given her an edge with new construction and the home building process as well.
The stakeholders at COListings are thrilled with the addition of Amy and her team, as she will bring a level of professionalism that its clients have come to expect from the organization. Amy has been a dominant force in the market place this year, and will continue to provide superior service to her clients, and those of COListings.
“Amy has been an active participant in our neighborhood, and is well respected by her clients and peers in the Reunion area,” says Artie Manfredi, Realtor and CEO of COListings.com. “We are incredibly pleased to know that Amy sees the value in what we are trying to accomplish by offering our clients a higher level of service, and a central location online for buyers to search where listings are actually updated frequently.”
COListings.com is locally-owned and operated residential real estate firm that believes in simplifying the real estate sales and buying process. Their goal is to serve their clients, agents, and the public efficiently and with precision by breakthroughs in innovation and education, while being stewards for the industry, their company and local communities. The firm has invested a fair amount of time and effort in creating a new platform that is updated every 15 minutes with the most recent listings from all areas of the front range.