Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Pricing the House to Sell


How is the price set?
When determining a price it is important to remove any emotional attachment to the home and price your home according to current market conditions. Because the real estate market is continually changing, and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it's imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. We will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) which provides the background data upon which to base your list-price decision. Feel free to interview agents when preparing to sell and study each agent's comparable sales report. If all agents agree on a price range for your home, go with the consensus. Watch out for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others as this may be an inflated figure used to gain your listing.

What are the standard ways of finding out how much a home is worth?
A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the standard methods for determining a home's value. We will provide you with a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. We will also discuss listing prices of current homes on the market as well as those that have sold. You also can research this yourself by checking on recent sales in public records. Be sure that you are researching properties that are similar in size, construction and location. This information is not only available at your local recorder's or assessor's office but also through private companies and on the Internet. An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $300 to perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.

How do you prepare a house to sell?
Doing whatever you can to put your house's best face forward is very important if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as quickly as possible. You want to minimize personal photos and displays so that potential buyers can make an emotional connection with the house and easily picture themselves in the home, an important step in a buyer making an offer.  Here are several ideas for making your home show better:
* Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris and pet waste from the yard.
* Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.  If your home was built before 1978, federal law gives a buyer the right to request a lead inspection. If you think you might have some problems, do the inspection yourself beforehand and make any fixes you can.
* Be sure that the doorbell works.
* Clean and spruce up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless.
* Organize closets.
* Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords.
* Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Remember, if they can smell it, you won't sell it.  Hide the kitty litter. 
* Put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house.
* Having pleasant background music playing in the background also will help set your stage.

What are the two most important factors when selling a home?
Price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home, even in a down market. The first step is to price your home correctly. Use comparative sales information from your agent, or pay for a professional appraiser (usually $200 to $300), to objectively evaluate your home's worth. Second, go through the house and repair any obvious cosmetic defects that could deter a buyer. In a down market, you may have to consider lowering your price and/or making a major repair, such as replacing the roof, in order to lure a buyer. We will make sure that your home is getting the exposure it deserves through advertising, good signage a listing on the local multiple listing service and online listings providers, open houses, and broker open houses.

What is the best time to buy?
Because many buyers prefer to move in the spring or summer, the market starts to heat up as early as February. Families with children are eager to buy so they can move during summer vacation, before the new school year begins. The market slows down in late summer before picking up again briefly in the fall. November and December have traditionally been slow months, although some astute buyers look for bargains during this period.

What is the difference between list price, sales price and appraised value?
The list price is a seller's advertised price, a figure that usually is only a rough estimate of what the seller wants to get. Sellers can price high, low or close to what they hope to get. To judge whether the list price is a fair one, be sure to consult comparable sales prices in the area. The sales price is the amount of money you as a buyer would pay for a property. The appraisal value is a certified appraiser's estimate of the worth of a property, and is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property and numerous other factors.

What is the difference between market value and appraised value?
The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300. Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.

How does someone sell a slow mover?
Even in a down market, real estate experts say that price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home. If you are selling in a slow market, your first step would be to lower your price. Also, go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that you missed and can be repaired. Secondly, discuss with your agent the exposure your home is getting through open houses, broker open houses, advertising, good signage, and listings on the local multiple listing service (MLS) and on the Internet. Another option is to pull your house off the market and wait for the market to improve. Finally, if you have no equity in the house, and are forced to sell because of a divorce or financial considerations, you could discuss a short sale or a deed-in-lieu-of- foreclosure with your lender. A short sale is when the seller finds a buyer for a price that is below the mortgage amount and negotiates the difference with the lender. In a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure situation, the lender agrees to take the house back without instituting foreclosure proceedings. The latter are radical options. Your simplest, and in many cases most effective, option is to lower the price.

Where do I get information on housing market stats?
A real estate agent is the best source for finding out the status of the local housing market.   Using third party websites often provides incorrect or outdated figures.  Because Estes Park is smaller, and a resort community, our market statistics often do not match the national trends, or even the Colorado Front Range/Denver Metro markets.  We have access to the current market trends and statistics and will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

First Colorado Realty
First Colorado Realty
(970) 586-3333