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.