Whether it’s family, friends or even prospective homebuyers, making a great first impression is what the pros like to call curb appeal. It's the first thing people see and it leaves a lasting impression; good or bad. Here are 3 expert tips to ensure you get it right.
So your’re not an expert gardener. Not a problem. A well maintained and mowed lawn goes a long way in making your house stand out. Clean garden beds with flowers make the home bright and are inexpensive and easy to upkeep. Container gardens can also add colorful curb appeal quickly and affordably. You just need ready-made containers from garden centers and fill them with flowers and plants. When choosing the foliage, leave it to the experts to select native species to ensure they survive the Colorado climate. Finally, make sure walkways are clean and clear of debris.
Curb appeal isn’t just about the yard. Whether you have stucco, siding or brick, they should all be clean and in good condition. With the sunny days and brutal winters in Colorado, you will most likely need to repaint every 6-10 years. When it comes to the color, everyone has a different personal preference. If you are going to sell, light tones, neutrals, and grays are the best options to make sure you home appeals to most prospective buyers.
The last tip toward mastering curb appeal is making sure the entryway into the home feels warm and welcoming. A pro tip is to flank the doorway. Choose items such as planted pots to help make the door a focal point and can add color, depth and life. These entryway items can easily be switched out with the different seasons to maintain curb appeal year round. Updating hardware, house numbers and light fixtures can all help refresh the entryway.
COListings agents know curb appeal is important whether you’re buying selling or refreshing. If you are getting ready to sell and need additional expert tips, please contact us today.
If you have decided to finally take the plunge and buy your first home, the decision alone can be ridden with anxiety. Are you going to make the right decisions when choosing a house? Should you wait to see what else might come on the market? Although there is no way to completely take the stress out of home buying, we want to help to avoid the most common mistakes first time home buyers can make when choosing a home.
Cozy Now...Uncomfortable Later
Maybe you really like those little bungalows and since you may not plan on having a family or one any time soon, you don't need much. But, before you know it plans can change. In an instant, what seemed comfortable for just one or two will suddenly feel extremely small. Looking toward the future plays a big role in deciding what will work for you long term and you can grow with.
Jumping to the exact opposite problem of too small, is buying the biggest house you possibly qualify for. It’s important to ask yourself if 5 bedrooms is a realistic size since it might be just you and your partner now. Carrying that large loan for the time it will take to fill those rooms could be a big money mistake. You want to make sure you can realistically grow into the house without stretching your finances thin.
The Time Sucker
Take time to look at the kind of maintenance your home will require. If there are large gardens, numerous flower beds and elaborate landscaping, it will require a lot of upkeep time. It may come as a shock the amount of time it takes to keep up with yard work especially if you currently live in an apartment. You don't want to be a slave to your home on the weekends.
The Fixer Upper Flop
It's all the rage now to buy an old fixer-upper. You see so many couples on HGTV doing it all the time. But, realistically will you have the time, money and resources to complete the work that needs to be done. Not everyone is built to withstand a total rehab of a home. Instead, focus on homes that might need just small weekend jobs that are just aesthetic and can be done on your timeline.
The Best Deal
Before you give yourself a high five for finding the best deal on a house out there, it may be time to step back and ask why it’s such a deal. Could it be the location, the school district or something else that is making it less desirable than other similar homes? If you buy it now just because the price was too good to resist, down the line you might have trouble selling and not get as much for it.
Just know, you don't have to go it alone with this big decision. COListings dedicated real estate agents will help guide you though selecting the right house that will work for you.
If you want to sell your home during this year’s spring selling season, now is the time to get moving. It’s no secret the warmer weather brings out buyers who are excitedly looking for homes. Many of those buyers have the notorious HDTV syndrome and will be expecting that when they walk into a house, they will be wowed with a clean and beautifully staged home. To make sure your home is show ready, here are 5 tips to ensure your home will impress.
WRAP UP THE HONEY DO LIST
Knowing that your home will soon go through an inspection from a buyer, now is the time to fix the small stuff. You don’t want to lead potential buyers to believe the home hasn’t been well maintained. Take time to assess your home and identify all the little things that need to be addressed. Buyers see them all and that can lead to a lower offer and inspection red flags.
PULL OUT THE PAINT
While you may love your red kitchen and green bedroom, buyers may not have the same taste. Investing in just a few gallons of neutral colored paint will give your home a bright, open and clean feel.
GET THE CLUTTER OUT
Now is the time to assess what you are going to clear out, throw out, sell or donate. Removing the clutter and packing things away now will make the move out easier and will help you better show off the homes storage, sizable rooms and help buyers imagine their own stuff in the space.
TACKLE THE HOUSE CLEANING
Once the home is clean it is much easier to keep it that way. With a little dusting, rinsing and wiping, your home will look and smell its best for every visitor that comes through. Carpet and window cleaning might seem like overkill, but you should not skip it. The cleaner your home looks and feels the more at ease potential buyers will be.
THE OUTSIDE MATTERS TOO
While it is very important to make sure you have all your bases covered inside of the home, it is equally as important to make sure the outside of gets the same TLC. Make sure both the front and back yards are mowed and maintained. Clean up the exterior windows, spray down any visible dirt and cobwebs. Trim shrubbery and make sure to clean up after your pets.
Luckily for you, when you list with a COListings agent you can check several of these items off your list since they bring in a professional home cleaner and stager for you as part of their service. Make selling your home easier on you and contact them today!
If you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time. Demand for homes is high and supply is limited. With prices rising, jobs growing and mortgage rates still low, buyers are in a shopping mood. You may think that in a seller’s market, you don’t have to do much to sell…right? WRONG. Let’s examine how NOT to sell your home.
Sell Without A Realtor
Yeah you GOT THIS! How hard can selling your house on your own be? You just don’t see the need to hire someone that spent countless hours in real estate school to get licensed. Well, I hope you don’t mind losing contracts or possibly being sued. Real estate agents are responsible for getting you through the transaction. They are experts when navigating contracts, title companies, inspections and appraisals. You should want someone that knows what they are doing in the driver’s seat.
Over Or Underprice Your Home
So, you might think your home is worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Sadly, you can’t price a home based on your emotional attachment or what you think you should get out of it. Buyers represented by an agent will know that your home is overpriced and it will sit on the market longer. On the contrary, if you underprice your home, you are leaving money on the table. A good agent will use a comparative market analysis (CMA), what other, comparable homes have recently sold for should give you a good estimation of a reasonable selling price.
Unless you are listing a fixer-upper, buyers are looking for as close to move-in ready as possible. That means they will notice holes in the walls, water damaged ceilings and stained carpet. Buyers look for well-maintained homes that won’t be a money pit once they’ve signed on the dotted line.
Leave The House A Mess
We have all seen the sign “excuse the mess, we live here.” But, when it comes to selling a home, buyers don’t want to step on Legos or walk into a kitchen sink full of stinky dishes. Before taking listing photos or showing your house, clean up the mess! Buyers want the spaces they are looking at to feel fresh, clean, and grown up.
Let Your Pets Rome Free
If you want to deter buyers from your home, leave all your animals out to rome free during showings. Surely they won’t mind a four-legged friend sniffing and getting to know them while they are walking through the house. In reality, some people don’t care for animals and some may have allergies. It is best to take them with you or keep them kenneled during showings.
It can just be so inconvenient right! You just started dinner and then you are going to watch a movie, so you will just refuse the showing request. Truth is, the potential buyer will have no problem moving on to another home around the corner and they just might fall in love with that one.
Stalk Buyers At Showings
Considering you even have anyone interested enough to request a showing at your home, if you think they love having the current homeowner stalking them as they go through your home, think again. Being home during a showing is very uncomfortable to potential buyers. Instead of them envisioning themselves living in the home, buyers will rush through the home and leave with an awkward feeling.
These mistakes are easily avoidable when you start with an expert agent. They can lead you through the home selling process to make sure you sell your home for the most money and in the least amount of time. If you are getting ready to sell your home, start the process off right and contact a COListings agent.
For prospective homebuyers, there is one number that carries so much weight. Your credit score. We know if it's high, getting a mortgage should be an easier process with a better rate. If it's on the lower end, it might be a struggle to get approved and you will pay more. But, what is high and what is low? COListings is here to help answer what's in the number.
Breaking it down
Credit scores are calculated by three U.S. credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They use the following variables to determine your score.
Payment history carries the most weight at 35%. This is whether you’ve made on time payments on your credit lines. Even one payment that is 30 days late can cause your score to drop more than 90 points.
Debt-to-credit ratios are a close second making up 30% of your total score. This is figured by how much debt you have on current credit card accounts. Most lenders look for a ratio of 36% or less, but there are exceptions.
Length of credit history makes up 15%. The longer record you have showing that you are a responsible credit user, the more it boosts your score.
Credit mix makes up 10%. This is combination of what kind of accounts you carry. Credit cards, loans, previous loans, retail credit cards and previous mortgages.
New credit fills in the rest at 10%. New credit is any lines of credit that have been opened within a short period of time. Multiple or very recent new lines can be a red flag to mortgage lenders.
A perfect credit score is 850. All scores above 760 are considered the best range to be in and will get you the best rates. 650's to 750's are typically in the good range. Credit scores that fall below 650 is where it starts to get murky. You may still qualify, but you will just have a higher interest rate. If you have a very low or poor score, you likely had some issues building or maintaining your credit and it will need repair before you can buy a home.
Whether you are in a great position or your score may need some work, if you want to buy a home make payments on time, reduce debt ratios on your accounts, keep established lines of credit, and avoid applying for new credit accounts.
If you are worried about your score but you know you are ready to buy a home, don’t be discouraged. Talk with a COListings agent who has multiple lender connections that can lay out what your options are. Knowing where you stand is the only way to feel comfortable on if you should move forward or make some changes before you buy.