Congratulations on taking the first steps in selling a home in Colorado! At Taylor Realty Group we understand that every seller’s goals and home is unique & consider it a privilege help you market and sell your most important possession. Our background is in marketing & technology so you’re working with master Colorado real estate marketers. Through our experience, we’ve created a “blueprint” for how to have the most successful & enjoyable sale possible. Whether you’re a first time seller or a you’ve sold many, this 5-Step guide will help you get prepared!
|Goals||Choose Agent||Prepare Your Home||Listing||Closing!|
16 Questions to Ask When Interviewing A Listing Agent
1. Do you work as a full-time Realtor? Yes!
2. How long have you been selling real estate? I have been in sales & marketing for 17 years and full time in real estate for 9 years.
3. Where do you rank within your office? I have been the #1 producer in both my company and my entire office since 2006. I am also blessed to rank in the top 5% of Realtor’s nationwide and named 5280 Magazine’s FIVE STAR AGENT for 4 years running.
4. How many homes & sales volume have you sold in the past 12 months ? NOTE: It’s important to know volume and not just # of sales. You want to be sure they sell homes in YOUR price range. 30 homes / $8M in Sales Volume
5. Do you have a list of references that we may contact? Absolutely! Many of the clients whom provided testimonials are happy to talk about their experience with you. Just ask me and I can provide you with their contact information. Here are my CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
6. Do you have a team to help you handle the multitude of details associated with each real estate transaction? Yes! I have a marketing and administrative assistant, a staging consultant to prepare your home, a contractor for any repairs, and a closing coordinator when we go under contract. This way I truly CAN be in two places at one time!
7. What lead generation system(s) do you have to develop an inventory of buyers for your listings? What are they? Yes. Call capture, SEO and high level internet marketing, email alerts, virtual tours, SMS alerts, and blogs are some just to name a few. When we get together I can show you in greater detail. My degree is in marketing and my listing program is first class, getting you better results than “traditional” marketing programs.
8. How many listings do you currently have? It varies throughout the year. I will tell you exactly when we get together. It varies from time to time as listings sell and I put new ones on the market. For now, you can click here to see our featured listings.
9. How many buyers do you typically work with? 6-8 at any given time
10. What is the market trend now? This too varies throughout the year. Click here to read my current market update where I have posted current pricing charts and provided my analysis.
11. How strong is your name recognition in the market area? 90% of home sales in the Denver & Boulder metro MLS’s involve both a listing agent and a realtor who represents the buyer. Therefore, reputation of your realtor is very important when selling your home because your agent has to be professional and pleasant to work with or else the buyer’s realtor will not show your home. I have a strong local reputation and so does my company. We treat everyone with dignity, respect, and cooperation to get your home sold. Our counterparts know this and are happy to show your home to their clients. This is not the case for all listing agents trust me!
12. Do you have a written marketing plan specifically designed to sell my home? We have innovative, high-tech, proprietary systems which make the process of selling easier, faster, and more profitable for our clients. I will show you in detail when we get together.
13. Where will you advertise our home? Will you provide Internet advertising? How and where? Absolutely. Your property will be listed on 200 of the top real estate sites. Including Realtor.com,Facebook, Twitter,Yahoo, Trulia, Zillow, and others. When we get together I will show exactly what sites and how it will be marketed to maximize your homes exposure to internet buyers.
14. How will you let me know what you are doing to market my property and will I get feedback from showings? Every week I will contact you with an update on your listing. In addition you will have a personal login to access feedback online 24/7 for real time showings and feedback.
15. Will you tell me what I can do to my home to make it sell faster or for more money? We provide you with a comprehensive guide and offer suggestions. We also have a professional staging consultant and a contractor on our staff and have include a complimentary 2 hour staging consultation as part of our listing program. We have also negotiated some great rates if your home is vacant and/or needs full blown staging, furniture rental,etc.
16. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you? I am the most motivated agent around, 90% of the homes I list get SOLD, and I use all the latest technology that home buyers use to find YOUR HOME. I hold a Marketing degree from Colorado State University (CSU) and I am an expert marketer of real estate. In addition, I have a team so we can deliver exceptional service all the time whereas single agents can’t be in two places at one time, thereby not giving you the attention you deserve.
How Much Is Commission And Is It Negotiable?
This is one of the most common questions when choosing an agent and many sellers often use commission alone to decide on which agent to hire. Here are some things to consider as you decide on an agent and factor in the commission they charge.
THERE IS NO STANDARD COMMISSION RATE
The amount a listing agent charges varies between both agents and companies. An “average” range is 5%-7% of the sales price but it really depends on the agent, the company, and what services they provide.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Like any service you pay for, some charge more and some charge less. Have you ever experienced a bargain sale & were sorry for the product/service you purchased because it just wasn’t what you thought it was going to be? The same is often true in choosing a listing agent. When considering commission, the most important factor to focus on is not how much an agent charges, but how you can NET the most amount of money from the sale of your home. If a broker charges more, see if they can justify their fee….meaning will you NET more from the sale vs a cheaper agent?
BETTER MARKETING = MORE DEMAND = HIGHER SALES PRICE
Not all agents who charge more are worth it. But the ones who are will have a strong listing marketing program that maximizes the interest in your home. The more interested buyers & and the better your agent’s negotiating & transaction skills, the higher price and net you will receive. Plus, like many professional services, it’s hard to put a price on experience. The cost of your home NOT selling for the highest net proceeds or falling through due to their lack of experience can be tremendous….often much more than the difference in % commissions between agents.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE? We’ll Sell Your Home For $795!
Yes it is. Here’s why:
(1) They Sell Your Home For Less: They are selling their own services at a bargain price….so be careful because it’s very likely they will sell your home at a bargain price too!
(2) It’s Paid Up Front (No Service Guarantee): You pay these guys up front so after you sign the listing agreement they often disappear. The fee is not enough to cover any marketing so they just pop your home in MLS and hope it sells.
(3) Bait & Switch: You’re Stuck W/Them As Your Buyer’s Agent: If you are lucky and it does sell and for the price you hoped….you are locked into using them as your buyer’s agent to purchase a home. If you don’t buy a home with them their listing fees are much higher than you thought!
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: “I Guarantee I’ll Sell Your Home in 30 Days or I’ll Buy It (or PAY You)”
Yes. This is also too good to be true. Here’s why:
(1) Pressure To Sell At Lower Price: Their business model is contradictory to your goals. You want the MOST from the sale of YOUR home but they are a volume driven business model and want to sell a lot of homes quickly……so they often pressure you into accepting a lower offer. Although they are supposed be your advocate, when negotiating for you they just want to see the deal close & aren’t motivated to get you the best deal.
(2) If They Buy It….The Price Will Be Very Low: They only promised they will BUY your home…..they didn’t say for HOW MUCH! They NEVER pay “market value” for your home! You need a professional who will look out for YOU….and not for their gimmicky “make a buck” business model.
(3) Who Is Working For Who? Blurred Lines w/Agency: Its best to hire an agent with an Exclusive Right To Sell agreement. This is just a fancy way of saying you both are mutually committed to one another. Your agent is looking out for your interests and you agree to sell the home through the agent exclusively. If the agent ends up buying your home, they legally can’t still be your agent. In fact, legally they are their own agent looking out for their best interests so you are now flying solo, negotiating against someone who sells real estate for a living. It may be a stretch analogy here but I sure wouldn’t challenge Peyton Manning to football toss…..or Hussein Bolt to a sprinting contest….and I certainly don’t recommend representing yourself when selling your home to someone who is in the real estate business and is more savvy than you in selling homes. It’s a recipe to be taken advantage of and rarely ends well for both parties.
Does It Matter What Company My Agent Works For?
Here are some reasons why the company MIGHT make a difference:
Familiar Brand & Credibility – Having a recognizable sign and brand behind your listing helps in certain niche areas. It also helps for relocation buyers because they know there is something behind the agent/broker compared to a Mom/Pop operation. However, most buyers outside the niche markets just care about the house. While sellers often want a familiar sign in the lawn, we have found that most buyers don’t notice or care. If the home works for them, they will buy it. If not, they won’t.
Networked w/Top Agents Who May Have a Buyer – It’s smart to hire a top producing agent. Birds of a feather principal holds true….and if he/she has a strong company/office the there will be other local top producers in their office. This increases the chances of finding a buyer because your agent can get tell these other top producing agents about it who have active buyers looking for a home like yours.
Marketing Tools & Resources – Some companies have resources for marketing your home the agent wouldn’t otherwise have. Find out what resources your agent has when you interview them.
Support & Training – Contracts, laws, financing guidelines, etc all change frequently and rapidly. A good company will provide solid training and have resources available to ensure your agent/broker is current on the latest law changes and trends to help you navigate them.
DESPITE THOSE REASONS ABOVE…..THE AGENT MATTERS MORE THAN THE COMPANY….HERE’S WHY:
All Agents are Independent Contractors – Each agent runs their own business how they desire. Professionalism, experience, listing marketing, negotiation skills all vary between agents. If an agent puts extra emphasis on their company and less on their results/experience/value provided then beware.
Different Types of Agency & What Paperwork Will We Sign?
Most sellers and agents enter into an EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL listing agreement. This is just a fancy way of saying you both are mutually committed to one another. Your agent is looking out for your interests and you agree to sell the home through the agent exclusively. It will outline the listing price, inclusions, and the term of the listing.
How Long Is A Listing Agreement? – This varies and depends on the market conditions. If homes are selling quickly then 3 months is reasonable. If homes are taking longer to sell OR sales commonly fall through then the term could be 6 months or more. For luxury homes or unique high end homes that take a very specific buyer, the agreement can be years depending on how long the agent anticipates it will take. When the agent invests a lot of money upfront in marketing for these types of homes then it’s fair to have a longer listing agreement to give them a chance to get it sold.
Here are the other listing documents you will sign when selling a home in Colorado:
CLOSING INSTRUCTIONS – Allows the title company to conduct the closing, transfer title from your name to the new buyer, hold earnest money in their escrow account, and facilitate your payoffs etc.
LEAD BASED PAINT DISCLOSURE – Says you don`t know of lead based paint and the buyer should test. If this is true please sign. If you DO know of lead based paint let us know and we will revise BEFORE you sign.
LEAD BASED PAINT OBLIGATIONS – If you know of lead based paint you MUST disclose it. Homes built prior to 1978 must have this accompany the purchase contract. SQ FT DISCLOSURE – This says where your agent obtained the square footage of your home for marketing purposes.
SELLERS PROPERTY DISCLOSURE – This is where you disclose EVERYTHING that IS wrong or WAS wrong with your home TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE. It’s very important to disclose everything!
First 5 Things To Do Before Putting Your Home On The Market
1. Hire A Pro BEFORE You Prepare Your Home – I know we touched on it above but it deserves repeating. Choosing the right agent to guide you through the process is the biggest decision you will make. A good agent will advise you on what to do (or not do) in preparing your home for sale. Don’t wait to contact an agent once you think your home is ready. Involve them in the beginning so they can help you maximize the sale-ability of your home. A good agent knows what buyers are looking for and will help you maximize your home’s appeal.
2. Separate Emotions From The Sale (Move Out In Your MIND) – The moment you decide (100%) to sell your home, it is a product available to the marketplace, not your home. I know this sounds abrasive but the sooner you become comfortable with this and detach your emotions, the easier it will be to go through the selling process, listen to showing feedback, react to staging recommendations, or negotiate an offer with a buyer. I know this can be challenging but this will make a HUGE difference in how enjoyable the experience will be for you. Helpful tip: Remind yourself WHY you are moving and the benefits it will provide to you and/or your family.
3. Pre-sale Home Inspection & Repairs – Does your home need work? Did you have a leaky dishwasher or water heater and you think it “may” have created some mold? Does an outlet trip a breaker often so you just don’t use it? Buyers often look for ever reason to NOT buy your home and finding a surprise like this can cost you the sale. Even worse, you legally must disclose these to potential buyer which will either scare them off or result in a lower offer.
Pre-sale home inspection – Be pro-active and arrange one. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before showings begin.
Get replacement estimates on big ticket items – Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
Doing The Little Things NOW Will Get a Much Higher Price – Buyers tend to overestimate what paint, carpeting and repairs will cost to do it themselves or hire out. They tend to add painting, repairs, etc. in the thousands of dollars. Doing the work before listing will help to ensure a more profitable sale for you.
4. Make Your House Sexy – De-clutter, maximize curb appeal, bring in a staging professional if necessary, etc….but make your house shine! We need to make your house sparkle in comparison to other listings and show buyers why it’s worth more. If you don’t, they will often opt for a cheaper house. De-cluttering – Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine. We have a full Home Preparation Checklist we provide to our sellers to help you get started! Curb Appeal – Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?
5. Find Your Warranties & Work Receipts – Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. Buyers will often ask for these with the offer or at inspection.
What Is Staging & Why Does It Work?
HOW WE LIVE IN A HOME IS DIFFERENT THAN HOW WE SELL IT The way we live in our home is totally different than how we stage a home to sell. Therefore, before you list your home it’s important to “undecorate” your home of personal items so buyers can envision their own family living there. This is what I call “Mental Possession”. Our goal is to appeal to 99% of the buyers walking through the door. We don’t want any particular style to stand out. Unfortunately only 10% of the buyers out there can see past a strong design or color; for example, a home decorated in a country design or ultra contemporary décor.
MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS & SHOWCASE YOUR HOME’S HIGHLIGHTS
We don’t want buyers remembering anything that might distract them from the selling features of a home. If a buyer remembers the collection of plates on the walls in the kitchen and not the beautiful wood floors, we failed to highlight this great upgrade of the home. Buyers usually see 4-5 homes in a day with an agent and we want all of your home’s features to stand out and be remembered. Plus, buyers will be in your home for only about 8 minutes and they are off to the next showing. We need a great overall first impression and all of the features to stand out, so they want to come back for a second look and hopefully place an offer.
List W/Taylor Realty Group & Receive FREE Staging!
How To Choose The Right List Price
When you list your home you put it IN the market, not ON the market. There is not an exact price for your home’s value…..it’s subjective & the only EXACT market value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Your home is unique, but from an economic standpoint, it is more like a Commodity vs. Product. Products have a set price whereas commodities’ value is determined by the market (supply/demand).
If your home is comparatively priced too high then buyers will choose a lower priced alternative. Conversely, if it’s priced too low, it will often result in a bidding war as buyers clamor for the bargain but you could end up leaving money on the table.
HOW TO USE A CMA TO DETERMINE MARKET VALUE
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) should have homes similar to yours nearby that are for sale & have sold recently. These are called “comps”. They should be of similar style (2 story, ranch, etc), size, and age. Sales should be not older than 6 months and in a fast moving market, not older than 90 days. Expand or refine the criteria until you have a good but manageable number of comps. Look for trends such as price/sq ft, inclining or declining values, days on market, & factors/features/etc that seem to have the most affect on value in your area. Also look at how long it’s taking homes to sell and consider not only the sales price, but the list price when it sold, what % of list price homes are selling for, and what was the original list price. These are part of our services when listing your home and we’ll help you analyze the data to determine the market value of your home. There are many variables to consider like your lot, views, condition, updates/upgrades, features, etc. just to name a few.
Once you have a good idea of the “range of value” for your home consider this graphic.Where your home and your goals fall on the scale for these 3 factors determines how high or low you should price your home. Condition and time are self explanatory. TERMS means things like will you consider “rent to own” or “owner carry” etc? The more flexible the TERMS the higher price you can ask for. DANGERS OF OVERPRICING YOUR HOME
Most sellers are proud of their home and want to have the most profitable sale possible. Because of this, it’s quite common if you’re thinking “Let’s ”TRY’ a higher price and if it doesn’t sell, we can always lower it.” However, this strategy often results in a lower sales price. Why? With the speed of life & advance of technology, buyers looking for a home like yours (and their agents) all have new listing alerts set up. The first couple of weeks on market, interest level and the number of showings will be the highest it will ever be for your home. See below: How Much Below List Price Should I Expect To Sell For?
Every area is different. Determine what % of list price homes are selling for in the area and when you listed the home, you should have left necessary wiggle room to “come down” when negotiating. In a hot market homes are selling very close, at, or over list price. In a slower market homes often sell below list price.
What You “Need” Does Not Determine Market Value
If what someone is willing to pay is not what you “need”, the variable we need to adjust is TIME. Maybe another 6 months, or in some cases, another 6 years, but only time will eventually lead to increased market value. Just because you “need” an amount does not mean a buyer will pay it. To have a successful sale and get it your home sold, you need to price your home where it is compelling to buyers based on market data and not on your desires. If it’s too low, you might consider waiting for the market value to increase.
What Marketing Works To Get a Home Sold?
First, we need to see WHERE buyers are find the ACTUAL HOME they purchased. Here are stats from the 2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. As you can see, Buyers are finding their home on the INTERNET & from their AGENT. These are the two areas your home marketing needs to focus on. And internet marketing is becoming more important every year. Check out the Buyer’s use of the internet to search for homes over the last few years. Your home needs a comprehensive marketing plan and a strong web strategy. Professional photos, virtual tours, web syndication, direct response systems……the list goes on. We provide this and much more for all our listings and can go over our marketing plan in detail in person. We don’t want to give all our secrets away to our competition on our web site!
10 Worst Home Showing Offenses
When it comes to presenting a home to buyers, some sellers aren’t sure what to do (and not do). Here are the most common offenses that turn off buyers and reduce the chance of the buyers making an offer. It’s comprised of complaints from agents nationwide.
1. Leftover home owners
The biggest complaint by agents and their buyers are homeowners still lingering around when the buyers arrive for the showing. Awkward encounters ranged from buyers finding sellers taking a shower, asleep in the bed, to even the “stalker sellers” who liked to follow buyers and the agent all over the home to see what they thought. With the exception of the “stalker seller,” many of the home owners who were still at home blamed their listing agent for not giving them enough advance notice about the appointment prior.
2. Pets and their messes
Numerous agents also cited the not-so-friendly dog and kitty encounters as a top offense. Even pets left in a crate can pose a distraction since they might make noise the entire time others are in the house. Plus, if they seem mean, the buyer might not even step in the room.
3. Bad smells
A displeasing smell can really turn buyers off. Common offenses include cooking smells lingering around the home, such as garlic, fried bacon, or fish. Also, watch for cigarette smoke and animal smells. Sellers get immune to the smell of their pets but anyone opening the door will smell it immediately — even if there are air fresheners trying to cover up the smell. If you have a pet, there will be an odor. Don’t send your buyers away: Paint and clean the carpeting. Take the odor seriously and do what is needed, even if it means replacing the carpet.
4. Critters running wild
Wild animals and pests roaming around is a surefire way to send buyers running. Agents described worms crawling on the floor and bats and raccoons lounging in the attic.
5. Odd home makeovers
Do-it-yourself disasters were also prevalent, like doors opening the wrong way or unprofessional paint jobs. Also, rooms not being used for their intended purposes can confuse buyers, such as an office being used as a bedroom even though it has no closet.
6. Dirt and clutter
There were a number of offenses cited when it came to cleanliness: Dirty laundry piles, unflushed toilets, dishes on the counter or in the sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, dirty air conditioner filters, and overflowing trash cans.
7. Personal information left in plain sight
Sellers should be careful not to leave important documents that might pique a buyer’s curiosity in plain sight. Some agents say they’ve seen personal information like bank and credit card statements—even mortgage payoff notices—left on the kitchen counter.
8. Too dark
Dark or dimly lit houses aren’t showing the home in the best light. Particularly [homes lit with] CFL bulbs. By the time [the bulbs] light up, the buyer is gone. Energy efficient bulbs need time to warm up before they are at their brightest, so staging professionals usually recommend traditional incandescent “Soft white” light bulbs.
9. Keys missing from lockboxes
All too often, agents arrive at a listing appointment with their client only to find there’s no key to get in.
10. Distracting & Personal Photos
Watch the photos displayed on the walls too. Buyers take what is called “Mental Possession” of a home when they see it. They begin imagining their “stuff” in the home. When they see your smiling mug in a photo, they snap out of it, and remember it’s not their house. You want them to stay in that “mention possession” mode and leave wanting to make that a reality!
Reviewing Offers & Negotiating Like a Pro
PRICE: Decide Your Bottom Dollar Ahead Of Time – When you chose a list price you should have also decided what offer price you hope to receive AND the lowest NET you will accept. Decide NOW before it gets emotional.
CONCESSIONS: Do I Have To Pay Buyer Closing Costs? – No, but focus on the NET. If the buyer want’s you to “pay” $5k in closing costs for them….if you increase the sales price by $5k, it’s the same same NET to you and gets your home sold. Some sellers feel like they absolutely shouldn’t pay buyer’s closing costs & the buyers should pay for their own expenses. The reality in today’s market is with heightened down-payment requirements, it’s challenging for some buyers to come up with the additional 2%-3% to cover their closing costs on top of the 5% – 20% they are already coming to the table with for a down-payment.
INCLUSIONS: What Do I Have To Include With The Sale? – What “stuff” will be included in the sale is negotiated with the offer. Common inclusions are appliances, window coverings, etc but for rural property perhaps the tractor or snow plow. Remove Any Exclusions Before You List Your Home! Inevitably the Buyer will ask for it and it will be a point of contention.
EARNEST MONEY: Show Me The Money!! The buyer will submit a deposit (earnest money) with their offer to show they are serious. IF/WHEN the offer is accepted it will be deposited in an escrow account and credited to the buyer at closing. Make sure it’s enough that they have some “skin in the game” and you know they are serious.
DATES & DEADLINES – What is the closing date? When do the buyers want to move in? When will their earnest money be non-refundable? Do you need time to find a new home? You can negotiate dates to & try to come to mutual agreement of what best suits your situation. A typical closing time-frame is 30-45 days from when the offer is accepted.
LENDER LETTER – We need to know the Buyer CAN buy your home. The Buyer should have a pre-approval letter showing they can obtain a mortgage or if they are paying CASH, Proof of Funds showing they have the $$ readily available to purchase the home. We thoroughly qualify every Buyer before you accept their offer and let you know of any concerns ahead of time.
Electronic Signatures – We use electronic contracts and you will be able to sign your offer, counter, and other docs online (computer, smart phone, Ipad, etc).
Counter-proposal – If the offer is not what we hoped we always encourage you to counter the buyer and NOT reject it.
Timeline – What Are The Steps To Closing?
Here is a typical timeline for the events in the closing phase. The Buyer’s earnest money is REFUNDABLE so long as they are within the timeline for the reason (“Event”) they terminating. Once the deadline passes for each “Event”, the Buyer will lose their earnest money if they terminate for that “Event”.
Not required but most buyers will have one done (at their expense)
What Will A Home Inspection Cover? Structure, Exterior, Roofing, Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Air Conditioning, Interiors, Ventilation, and Fireplaces. If potential problems are identified the inspector will recommend specialists make further evaluations. Other common add-ons are Radon and sewer scoping/video.
No Such Thing As “Pass/Fail”: A home cannot fail or pass….it’s completely up to the buyer if they want to move forward or terminate. The only caveat is if their lender will approve the property and that varies based on the type of loan they are getting.
Expect A Long List: Don’t be alarmed if the buyer makes a lot of repair requests. It’s normal. The inspector is paid to find things wrong and buyers have a hard time knowing what is really important. We will help prioritize the requests and negotiate for you regarding these requests. The picture below helps set expectations =)
- Move Forward AS IS
- Negotiate & Agree on Repairs (or concessions)
TITLE / HOA / INSURANCE
Some of the dates agreed to in the offer include time for the following:
TITLE INSURANCE – In Colorado, real estate is transferred by title companies at closing (vs some states that are done by attorneys). The title company will transfer “title” from your name into the buyer’s name at closing. They will also provide “insurance” guaranteeing that the buyer truly owns the property and are entitled to all the rights that come with it. They will also verify and insure that you have full legal ownership to rightfully transfer title to the buyer. If it is discovered later that the buyer doesn’t have rightful ownership, the “title insurance” will reimburse the buyer (and/or their lender) up to the purchase price. Part of our seller services is to help you review the title commitment for things such as: correct spelling of names, confirming existing liens are correct, reviewing exhibits for mineral rights, HOA rules regarding the sale, and ensure that property taxes are properly calculated and pro-rated at closing.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION DOCS – If there is an HOA, you will be required to provide the buyer with the rules and regulations, most recent budget, financials, minutes from the board meetings, and all the recorded documents with the county. The buyer has a chance to review it all and decide if it is all acceptable to them.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE – The buyer will need to purchase a homeowner insurance policy and provide their lender with the details. This insurance deadline is two-fold. (1) Verify the home is insurable and research any prior claim history and (2) compare rates/premiums to make sure it’s acceptable to the buyer. If either is unacceptable they may terminate by the Insurance Objection deadline and receive a refund of their earnest money. An increasing trend in Colorado real estate is home buyers requiring home sellers to provide a C.L.U.E. Home Seller’s Disclosure Report as a contingency to purchase contract. C.L.U.E. Home Seller’s Disclosure Reports provide a five-year insurance loss history for a given address, without divulging personal and private information about a property owner. We can help you order this when you list your home if you like. We’ve found sometimes this transparency results in a better offer and avoids surprises later.
What Is An Appraisal? – An appraisal is an “opinion” of how much a home is currently worth. Calculations are based on similar homes nearby that have sold within the past 6 months (these are called comparables). Lenders require it when the buyer is paying for the home with a new loan.
What Do They Look At? – Condition, location, features, size, etc. What they have a difficult time compensating for are market factors that drive prices up or down faster than the data suggests. For example, when inventory is low buyers may pay more than past sales because it’s their only option.
LOAN APPROVAL & CLOSING
We review the buyer’s financing when you receive an offer….but they will only be pre-approved for a loan. Some “conditions” need to be met for the lender to be able to close the sale. The “underwriter” will go through the loan with a fine tooth comb and collect all the final details like an appraisal, updated income docs from the buyer, etc. The Loan Conditions date in the offer determines when the buyer needs to have their complete Loan Approval by, and if it falls through after this date, you keep their earnest money. Tip of the day…..don’t pack the truck until the buyer has the full loan approval!
Can I Help?……
We don’t just sell homes, we provide Expert Guidance & Friendly Personal Service. Whether you are looking to make a move in 3 months or 3 years, my goal is to help you make smart, confident decisions throughout the sale of your home and find success in this changing market. Plus, my degree is in Marketing & our Strategic Marketing System gets your home sold for MORE $$ and achieve FASTER RESULTS.
Treats His Clients Like Family
Michael Taylor is truly a wonderful agent and he treats his clients from the beginning to the closing as if they were his family (and then even after). It is a very sad to sell a house that you lived and shared with your husband for many years the memories and then to lose him. Michael was very kind and compassionate and made the move much easier for me. I would truly recommend him and will to anyone I know selling their home.