Three Must Dos Before You Sell Your Home

You want to sell your home but the things to do before listing seem daunting. So what are the three most important things that you should do?

Do a walk through

The very first thing you should do is walk through your home as if you were looking at it to buy. Use a critical eye and see what needs Three Must Dos Before You Sell Your Hometo be updated, fixed and decluttered. If your home isn’t spacious and inviting then figure out why. If there is too much stuff, pack it up or throw it away. If there is too much furniture or the furniture is too big for the space then move some out or replace it with new. Put the old stuff in storage, sell it or donate it. Make any fixes that are necessary. Repaint, update and spruce up the space.

Decide on the price

Next, decide on the number that you think is fair for your home. You aren’t going to be objective about it, but if you do some research into recent sales in the neighborhood you’ll get an idea of what to start with when discussing it with your Realtor. Sites like Trulia and Zillow can give you an idea of what comparable homes in your area are going for and what the market is like. Just keep in mind that asking prices are not always selling prices.

Choose the right real estate agent

Lastly, choose the right real estate agent. Do your homework there as well. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Then take the time to interview prospective agents. Be sure to ask them about what services they provide, how often they will show your home, what their listing/sales average is and if they are a Realtor. Realtors follow a stricter set of ethics and have MLS access.

Then be sure to take their advice and your house will be sold and next home inhabited.

Are You Selling A “Special” House… How To Find Comps

You’re getting ready to sell your home but aren’t so sure how to price it. Not because you can’t find homes similar to yours to compare, but because your home has the most amazing mountain views or sits on an open space or has a really unique garage that will make a huge difference to your buyer.

How do you quantify that? How do you find comps for your special home?

So what makes your home special?

Are You Selling A “Special” House… How To Find CompsThose views, or maybe proximity to protected lands or even that a famous person lived there.

The list of special could be endless, but how do you find out how much it adds to your home’s value?

Typically finding comparable real estate sales involves finding homes that have similar square footage, bedrooms, baths and so on. Of course things like condition of the home versus condition of the comps is also taken into consideration.

Some things make it hard to find comps. Distance from one home to another in rural areas, special things like views and so on.

So how do you find a value for that?

You can stop and think about what it was worth to you when you purchased the home. Did it make you want to offer more for it than another similar home? Still not sure? Contact a Realtor in your area. A Realtor is more than aware of what makes your home special. They will also have an idea of what it adds to the value of your home.

Better yet, just list it without worrying about the special thing and then see what happens when homebuyers come calling. Your special thing will become what makes homebuyers offer more for your home than any another.

If you are in the Denver area and want help with pricing your “special” home, give Tena D a call today! (303) 452-5853

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix Them

Have you ever seen the TV commercial about an air freshener that goes like this “you think your car [room, etc.] smells like this, but your friends smell this” and change it to a smelly mess?

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix ThemWell, you may be inured to the smells in your home, but people coming to look at it to possibly buy it aren’t. Smoke, cooking smells, pet smells and others are all very obvious to others. You’ll need to fix them if you expect to sell your home. Here are some ideas for the smelliest of the bunch.


If you smoke, or have a smoker in your home, you know how it gets on everything. Even if you or they don’t smoke in the house, just the transfer from their hair and clothing sticks. Air fresheners aren’t going to get rid of it. Depending on how heavy the smoke smell is in the home, you will at the very least need to wash all fabrics, steam clean carpets and furniture and repaint. If you or someone else is a heavy smoker, you may need professional help in getting the smell out.


If you have pets, they too can be smelly. Small pets like mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters or guinea pigs can be smelly if their cages aren’t kept clean. Best bet is to find someone who can take them for you while the house is on the market (same with lizards, snakes, etc.) If you have dogs, make sure your carpets don’t have old accident stains which can also be smelly. They also shed, so bathe the dog, vacuum, mop and dust often. Find someone to take them when showings are scheduled or at the very least crate them. If you have cats, keep the litter box clean and scooped and remove it during showings. If your cat is shy and will hide when people come over, you can leave them in the home, if not, take them with you.

Food and cooking smells can be bad too

Try to avoid cooking. Keep kitchen linens clean and fresh. Don’t cook fish until the house is sold! Also nothing too onion or garlicky.

If your bath has a moldy or mildewy smell clean and get rid of the mold and mildew.

Not sure if your home smells? Ask a friend to come over and give you an honest assessment.

The Market Doesn’t Care How Much You Need To Make When You Sell Your Home

You need to sell your home and you have to get a certain  number in order to pay off your mortgage and purchase a new home. Guess what? The market doesn’t give two hoots about how much you need to get for your home. It will sell for what the market will bear, no more. Even if you remodel to boost the value of your home, the market will decide.

Sometimes it can be a rock and a hard place

The Market Doesn’t Care How Much You Need To Make When You Sell Your HomeMany people found out during the real estate crash what that means. You owe a certain amount on your mortgage. Your mortgage company wants their money whether you sell for enough or not. You want to be able to buy a new home and to do that you also need to have money left over. It’s not an easy place to be.

What you paid doesn’t count when selling

Don’t even think that what you paid for your home should have a bearing on what you should recover when you sell. Some, unfortunately, bought at the top of the boom and some neighborhoods went downhill and hasn’t recovered or recovered enough to make your home worth what it was. People aren’t going to pay the inflated value you did, nor will any mortgage company write a mortgage for that amount. Pouring more money in by updating it won’t raise the value either.

In short, no matter what you need, you may not be able to get it out of the sale of your home. The market and what someone is willing to pay for your home determines its value, not your needs.

Why Accepting The Highest Offer Is Not Always Best

Your home has been listed and seen by a few or many people. Now you have a few offers. Your knee jerk reaction is to take the highest offer. That may not be your best plan. The highest offer may not be the best offer and here’s why.

The highest offer may not be best

Why Accepting The Highest Offer Is Not Always BestFirst reason the highest offer may not be best is that your home may not appraise for that price. This is especially  true if your home was the subject of a bidding war. If that top bidder has to get a mortgage then the mortgage company will have the property appraised. If they find that the contract price is higher than the appraised value, they won’t write a mortgage for anything more than the appraised value.

So unless that high bidder can put more money down to make up the difference, the contract will fall through. Those other bidders will have moved on and then you are left holding the bag.

Another reason:

That high bidder may just not have the financing in place or available to complete the sale. Just because they bid or offered the highest amount, it doesn’t mean they can get the financing they need or already have it in place.

Last big reason:

If they have the highest offer, they may also ask for the most repairs or concessions. Here is an example: A woman lists her home and gets a full price offer in less than a week. She accepts that offer and the home inspection takes place. The home, which was updated and in rather good shape inspected well, but the inspector mentioned a few things like “the heating system will eventually give out” although nothing is wrong with it now. The buyers then demanded that the seller replace the heating system, put an expensive filtration system on the well and make some other minor repairs. The seller refused to do anything but the minor repairs.

The house then was put back on the market and another buyer bid for under asking, but it was a cash sale and not one concession was demanded. The lesson? The seller actually walked away with more money in her pocket than she would have with the full price, higher offer.

Have your home appraised

So your best bet is to get information before accepting any offer about financing. Have your home appraised prior to sale so you know what that number will look like. Be prepared. Then you can accept the BEST offer, not necessarily the highest.