Dear Larry and Laurie: My husband and I are considering selling our home and wondering if you can provide some tips to understand what we should do to get our house ready, understand market nuances and help us pick the right broker. — Curious Seller
Dear Curious Seller: We applaud you for taking the initiative to understand how you can make listing and selling your home a positive and productive experience. Understanding where the market stands and how to leverage it to your advantage are important steps.
As you likely know, we are in a seller’s market and inventory continues to remain at historic lows. With the current absorption rate, there is a little over a one-month’s supply of condominium and townhouse listing inventory and a little over two-months’ supply of single-family home inventory throughout Eagle County. Coupled with historically low interest rates, there really is no better time to sell your home.
This doesn’t mean sellers can ask any price for any property. Buyers are being cautious about buying at the top of the market. When looking for a broker, we advise you work with a broker who is a seller’s agent or listing specialist. This type of broker understands the needs of sellers and how to appropriately price, stage and get your home ready for market, negotiate multiple offers and make sure closings go smoothly.
A few specific tips:
Set a realistic price
Setting the right asking price is key. Work with your broker to run a comparative market analysis to help you determine a fair price. Note that buyers and their agent will do this for your home too, so as a seller you should be one step ahead of them.
Pay attention to other comparable homes nearby and listing and selling prices. An overpriced home will sit on the market longer and you may need to reduce your price, which sometimes may make buyers wonder if there is something wrong. In today’s market, homes are selling quickly. The sooner you are under contract, the less you will need to get your property ready for showings.
Prepare your home
Prepare your home for showings before it goes on the market. Remove personal items and family photos, reduce clutter, paint the inside and outside if needed, and get any necessary repairs done. Ask your broker for their input and/or staging recommendations to make sure you are doing what’s needed but not overdoing it. Buyers notice a clean, well-maintained home and when done correctly, your home will stand out from the competition.
Create curb appeal
As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make sure you have a well-groomed yard and landscaping, shoveled walks, and welcoming front door/entryway.
When looking at and comparing offers, make sure the buyer has met with a lender and has a written pre-qualification or approval letter, if it’s not a cash deal. Local banks or mortgage brokers are always preferred as they know the area and market nuances vs. an out-of-town lender.
Tone down the emotion
Selling a home can come with a lot of stress. Choose a broker who specializes in listings and one you trust to help you negotiate an offer and help you through the process. Finally, seller’s agents are familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly.
Be prepared for inspections
Always disclose any defects with your home. You can expect that when the buyer hires a company to inspect your home, there will always be some issues that arise in the inspector’s report. Be open minded and think seriously about correcting any safety issues.
Good luck with your listing.
Larry Agneberg and Laurie Slaughter are 46- and 43- year Vail Valley residents and award-winning brokers with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. Agneberg, a member of Key to Vail Team with Pete Denise, brings 37 years of award-winning real estate experience that includes Realtor of the Year and a perennial member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Chairman’s Diamond Circle. Slaughter is a 26-year real estate veteran and managing broker for the Gypsum office, where she is a member of The Slaughter Group with Scooter Slaughter and Dana Hyatt, which earned the 2020 Chairman’s Circle Platinum Award for Small Teams. They can be reached Larry@keytovail.com or 970-376-7100 and Laurie@bhhsvail.net or 970-471-0108.