According to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR), April 2021 in the Greater Denver Metro housing market showed that the hyper-demand in the residential housing industry continues to result in historic low months of inventory, even with months-end active inventory increasing by about 35 percent. Altogether, there were still only 2,594 active properties at the end of the month, representing the lowest April on record and a little over 48 percent less inventory than the previous April low in 2015. Additionally, since last year, the market has seen a steady rise in competition and therefore prices have as well. With only two weeks of inventory, year-over-year appreciation continues to be both staggering for the market while also bringing home sellers inevitably great returns, increasing 24.2 percent in April.
Do these historic market moments that we’ve seen in Denver leave you thinking, “I want to sell my house, but where do I start?” If so, you’re not alone but I’m here to be a resource and partner!
Maybe you’re thinking about selling because you need more space, or you’re ready to downsize, or you’re relocating from another area. No matter what the reason is, it’s important to be prepared. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, especially if you’re a first-time home seller, because it’s likely your biggest investment. You’ll also need to spend time getting your home looking its best and you’ll also need to prepare to find your next home, likely at the same time.
Here is the process that I use to help guide my seller clients to keep everyone on track and feeling good!
1. Identify your motivation to sell
I always recommend addressing finances by speaking with your mortgage lender to chat about your current remaining loan balance. This will help you understand the amount of equity you’ll have when you sell and I can put together a net sheet that will clearly outline all anticipated closing costs and what you’ll receive in proceeds based off of our estimated list price.
It’s also a good idea to outline your nonnegotiables – what is your time frame to move? What is the minimum price you’d list for? Are you okay with a post-occupancy agreement with the new owners? Is this sale contingent on finding a replacement home?
2. Settle on the best timeframe, considering the current market
The current market in Denver is a seller’s market so this is the time to explore your options so that you can maximize the sale of your home. I anticipate this to continue as the year progresses, but mortgage rates may increase so you’ll want to consider that, as well.
Make sure to consider things going on in your personal life so that you can sell and move into a replacement home at a good time for you or your family. It’s also good to remain flexible, it doesn’t always work out perfectly in terms of timing for the closing of your current home and your next one so make sure to factor in the expense of an Airbnb or hotel, if needed.
3. Review comps and price your home competitively
Even in this hot seller’s market, pricing your property right is so important. I will run a complete analysis for comparable homes and will come tour your home myself to help provide a recommendation on list price. I like to do this in partnership with my clients so I’ll present my findings and we’ll have a discussion about where to price.
Pricing too high is detriment to the sale and pricing lower will drive more attention and offers. The last couple months, the majority of properties in Denver are going over list price.
4. Begin to get your home show ready
The goal here is to make the prospective buyers feel at home! You’ll want to declutter, pack away personal items, such as photos, sentimental belongings, etc. Using your existing furniture, stage the home to give a better idea of how the space can be used or lived in. This may mean reducing the amount of furniture so it’s sometimes necessary to budget for a storage unit to move some pieces out.
It’s also important to keep the home clean throughout the period that it is listed and when showings are underway. Pick up toys, kitchen, etc., make the beds, and ensure the home smells fresh.
5. Get your listing live on MLS and marketed
I will get your home live on MLS including professional photography (done by MODUS Real Estate’s in-house photographer), description and information about showing availability. MLS syndicates listings across other sites like Zillow to help further market it.
I will also get a custom website built to feature your home. This site will include the professional photography, as well as a home tour video and matterport to be able to tour the home virtually. This website is also syndicated to help get more eyes on your listing.
Selling your home, yourself will not maximize your equity. Working with an agent who knows the market and area is crucial, and allows you access to list on MLS which is where the majority of buyers are looking for their next home.
6. Get out of town for showings
It’s important to allow as much time and access to prospective buyers as possible once the property is listed. I recommend going live with a listing on a Wednesday or Thursday, so that showings can begin Thursday or Friday and go through the weekend.
I recommend, when possible, that my seller clients plan to leave town for the weekend so that they don’t have to worry about keeping the home clean and so that showings can be booked back to back. Go enjoy yourself!
7. Review offers & watch out for closing hurdles
As offers come-in, I will share updates with you in real-time and then we’ll sit down to review everything together in detail. I’ll outline all the pros and cons to each so that we can make a decision together about which to accept. Sometimes the highest offer price is not the strongest overall offer – for example, someone can come in a little lower than the highest offer but be covering an appraisal gap completely which is more secure, especially in the current market!
I’ll help call-out anything in the offers that may pose potential closing hurdles including inspection period, appraisal, or financing issues.
8. Under contract! Plan your move out
Once you’re under contract, we’ll need to allow access to the inspector once the buyers schedule and same for the appraiser. You should also start to plan your move out, starting to pack additional items and prepare for your move whether it’s into your new house or somewhere temporary if timing doesn’t align.
There is also an option to negotiate or try to secure a post-occupancy agreement with the new owners. If this is something you’d like or think you’ll need, I recommend outlining that as something you need or want in the listing so that prospective buyers can include in their offers.
9. Fulfill closing obligations
I’ll work with you to make sure that property disclosures are completed, signed and shared with the buyers. If anything comes up during inspection that we agree to resolve, I’ll help you make sure those items are addressed properly ahead of closing. We can also work with the Title company to review expected closing costs so that there are no surprises. These costs will typically come directly out of the profits you’ll be receiving upon closing.
10. On to your next home!
Time to enjoy your next home and make new memories!