Selling Your Home

Home Seller’s Guide

Trust us to tell the story of your Denver Metro area home

SELLING YOUR COLORADO PROPERTY

You made a great investment in your Colorado property, and whether you have owned it for just a few months, or for years or even decades, we consider it our goal to make sure that you sell it quickly, and for the highest profit possible. We don’t stop there, though…we also strive to provide West + Main clients with a smooth transaction, as little hassle as possible, and a seamless process with transparent and constant communication.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

Honest advice. From preparing your home for sale to handing over the keys to the property’s new owners, we are here at every step, bump, and curve in the journey.

The West + Main Selling Strategy:

PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR SALE

You might keep your home looking like a designer showroom every day…if that’s the case, great! Let’s put a sign in the yard and let the showings begin! 

But, if you’re like most of the people that we work with, you have a little work to do first. 

This might involve:
• decluttering + depersonalizing 
• minor touchups
• small repairs 
• staging 
• deep cleaning 
and, in some cases, it might even mean some cosmetic upgrades or even remodeling.

Every situation is different, and depending on your Real Estate goals, it might take a few days or even weeks to get your house ready, and that’s totally ok with us. We have a large network of contractors and professionals who have done a great job for our clients and our agents. If you need a recommendation or referral for a plumber, electrician, painter, handyman, etc, just let us know, we will be happy to make an introduction or pass along their information. 

NEED TO SELL AS-IS, QUICKLY, OR EVEN OFF-MARKET? WE CAN HELP WITH THAT AS WELL.

We are always happy to create a Comparative Market Analysis for your property so that you will have an idea of where you stand financially. We will also generate an Estimated Net Sheet so that you can see every line item and cost involved, as well as your potential bottom line profit. Pricing is another important factor.

PRICING + POSITIONING YOUR PROPERTY

One thing we say over and over again is “Don’t trust the zestimate.” Even though Zillow, Trulia and other Real Estate marketing platforms might pop out a number for your property, it’s always better to have a local professional tour your home, consider all of the factors involved, and run a detailed analysis in order to make sure your home is perfectly positioned for the market. 

Speaking of positioning…did you know that there are very drastic differences in numbers of showings, multiple offer potential, and even escrow timelines depending on which day and week you choose to list your Colorado property? We keep a close eye on the statistics, annual histories, and many other factors in order to make sure that your house hits the market at exactly the right time – and it’s not the same for every type of home, neighborhood, or city! Listing at the non-optimal time can cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in potential profit.

MARKETING MATTERS

Our in-house marketing department is a team of seasoned professionals who are passionate about making sure your home’s story is seen + heard by potential homebuyers. From beautiful flyers to expertly crafted property descriptions and photos, our goal is to target your property’s audience with attention-catching materials that get doors unlocked. This might include targeted online advertising, print materials, highlighted exposure in our widely distributed newsletters, feature placement on our blog + website, and more. Every home’s story is special + unique…we can’t wait to tell yours.

EXPERT NEGOTIATION

The best contract for your situation might not always be the highest price…we will help you consider all of the factors involved so that you not only go under contract but also make it to the closing table. This might include considering the best dates + deadlines for your timeline, as well as provisions like waived inspections or offers that include appraisal gap coverage. If you need to find a replacement property or would like to have the option to rent your home back for a few days or even weeks after closing, that is also something that we consider when reviewing and negotiating offers to purchase your home.

Ready to get started?

  • Free Home Evaluation: A well-priced home will generate competing offers and drive up the final sale value. Our free market analysis takes into account the most actively searched prices and home values in the area and provides you with a detailed evaluation that puts it all in perspective.
  • Sell Your Home with a Professional: Our tried and true marketing plan will take the guesswork out of selling your home.
  • See What’s on The Market: Use the search tools on this site to get an idea of the competition.
  • Connect to a Professional: Contact us anytime you need to know what’s really going on in this market. When you’re ready to take the next step toward selling your home, we’re here to help. We’ll make sure your listing gets the best exposure and reaches the right buyer—whether they’re out of state, in another country, or right around the corner.

Coloradans are Basically Tumbleweeds, They Move so Often

November 17, 2019 ColoradoSelling

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The typical U.S. homeowner is staying put in the same place five years longer than at the start of the decade. But metro Denver residents aren’t typical.

Back in 2010, U.S. homeowners had spent a median of eight years in their homes, according to a study from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage firm based in Seattle. But this year, the median tenure is now at 13 years.

In Salt Lake City and Houston, the median tenure exceeds 23 years, and it is above 20 years in Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Dallas, according to Redfin.

By contrast, metro Denver residents are tumbleweeds. The median tenure went from 8.7 years to 9.3 years. The increase was only 6.9%, the smallest of the 55 metro areas Redfin examined.

In Indianapolis, the median tenure is up 92.2%, while in Austin, Texas, it is up 89.7%.

“When homeowners stay put, that can reduce the number of homes for sale, making a market more competitive for buyers,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist with Redfin, in the study.

That raises the question of how much tighter metro Denver’s housing market might have been if so many owners here hadn’t put up a for-sale sign. Search Homes for Sale

Even with tenure barely budging, there are only half as many homes available for sale in metro Denver this year compared to 2010. And the median price of a home sold has doubled this decade.

Metro Denver homes prices didn’t fall to the degree they did in places like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas during the housing downturn. And they rebounded faster, meaning owners weren’t trapped as long owing more on the mortgage than they could get in a sale.

Prices rose so much that it gave long-time owners, it appears, an incentive to cash in and sell.

The National Association of Realtors provided some other statistics on how the housing market is changing, which may explain why people are staying put longer.

The average age of first-time homebuyers in the U.S. is now 33 years old. What hasn’t gotten as much attention is the average age of move-up buyers has now reached 55 years. Contrast that with the low of 36 years in 1981.

“People are taking on a mortgage later in life,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of research at NAR, on a conference call.

Those move-up buyers take on a mortgage for 86% of the purchase price, meaning they will carry a mortgage well into retirement. That is one thing that could keep them locked in.

More young adults are also staying with parents, delaying when that empty nest can be offloaded.

The NAR statistics suggest many millennials are making good use of their time at home. About a quarter of first-time homebuyers went directly from living with relatives to buying a home. Historically, they have represented only 12% of first-time buyers.

Young adults are having children at a later age and are having fewer of them. That also reduces what often is a major motivator to purchase a home or to purchase a larger one.

Keep reading at the Denver Post. West + Main Homes

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Should I Sell My House Now or in the Spring?

October 20, 2019 Selling

The answer isn’t the same for every situation.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home. Search Homes for Sale

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn’t have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be “sold” on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

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Live in a Micro-Apartment in RiNo – Now Leasing at Ride

October 20, 2019 Selling

Could You Live in a Tiny Apartment?

The architect behind the new Ride micro-apartment community in RiNo thinks so—and he’s whipped up design magic to make you love the idea.

First, we had tiny houses (and TV shows and books that chronicled the lives of people who traded traditional homes for dwellings no larger than 400 or so square feet). Now we have micro-apartments, small spaces designed to maximize efficiency. Problem is, sometimes living in a downsized apartment feels like you’ve joined Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians.

But that’s not always the case. Ride, the latest micro-apartment community in Denver, comprises 84 units in a mixed-use, five-story complex (developed by Denver firm McWhinney) that makes smart use of space, thanks to the work of Denver architect Christopher Carvell. The RiNo micro-apartments range in size from 369 square feet to 849 square feet of flexible live-work space.

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Renderings courtesy of Ride

Carvell’s first trick to making the diminutive footprints feel good: high ceilings. “We got a lot of volume by making the ceilings 10-and-a-half to 13 feet high, depending on the unit,” he says. Into those vertical spaces, he designed a “high pantry” for storage—big enough to accommodate a bike, skis, or golf equipment.

The units also benefit from large bay windows with low sills, “so you can look down and out, which gives a sense of expansiveness,” Carvell says. What’s more, “when you open the door, you see straight out to the view,” and every unit comes with a balcony to give each tenant a little outdoor access. Into the sunlit interior, Carvell carved a compact linear kitchen with built-in workspaces, floating shelves, and smaller-scale stainless-steel appliances. A compartment bathroom features a space-saving floating vanity.

The pet-friendly complex itself has a few familiar amenities—a 24-hour fitness center, a rooftop lounge overlooking the city, and a conference center—along with other perks that highlight its urban location, including E.V. charging stations and a D.I.Y. bike shop. An on-site manager coordinates community events, and the complex’s location at 36th and Wynkoop means residents can walk to Zeppelin Station and the light rail stop at 38th and Blake.

Ride’s tagline—the “anti-apartment apartment”—feels a little kitschy, perhaps, but Carvell says it’s not just a slogan. “A lot of apartments are chopped up and irregular because circulation patterns and corridors eat up space,” he says, “but here, nothing disrupts your view and there’s no wasted space.”

If that sounds like your ideal home, you’re in luck: Ride is leasing units now, from $1,239 to $1,899 per month for a 10- to 13-month lease. Living large in a small space (in a hot location) isn’t cheap, it turns out, but the smart design and urban address might be worth it.

Find out more at 5280.

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What kind of layout do different generations envision for their home? 

October 3, 2019 Selling

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A plurality of Millennials – 43 percent – want a completely open layout for their family room and dining room, a higher share than any other generation, according to an NAHB report, What Home Buyers Really Want (Figure 1). The report is based on a survey that asks prospective and recent home buyers about the preferences they want in a home and community. The shares of those who desire a completely open layout for their family and dining areas drops to 40 percent among Gen X’ers, 37 percent among Boomers, and to just 29 percent among Seniors.

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Half of Millennials want a kitchen and dining room layout that is completely open. This layout is just as popular among Gen X’ers (50 percent) and essentially the same among Boomers (48 percent), but fewer Seniors (42 percent) find it appealing.  On the other hand, there is general agreement across generations when it comes to a completely open kitchen and family room layout: 43 percent of Millennials want this, 45 percent of Gen X’ers, 42 percent of Boomers, and 40 percent of Seniors.

Millennials are the least likely to want a single-story home (Figure 2). Only 35 percent of them expressed a preference for it, compared to 53 percent of Gen X’ers, 80 percent of Boomers, and 74 percent of Seniors. A majority of millennials – 55 percent – want a two-story structure. However, this option is not as popular among Gen X’ers (38 percent), Boomers (17 percent), and Seniors (21 percent). A minority of buyers in all generations want three-stories or a split-level home.

Considerable shares of Millennials want either ‘four plus bedrooms’ in their home (47 percent) or three bedrooms (40 percent) (Figure 3). This finding indicates that Millennials may want more space in their homes, perhaps to accommodate an expanding family.

A ‘four plus bedrooms’ may be too many for older generations as the preference for it falls with age: 38 percent of Gen X’ers prefer it, followed by 23 percent of Boomers, and 13 percent of Seniors. In contrast, the preference for ‘three bedrooms’ increases with age, from 40 percent of Millennials to 56 percent of Seniors.

When it comes to the number of bathrooms preferred, a majority across all generations want 2 or 2.5 bathrooms (Figure 4). The preference for 2 or 2.5 bathrooms rises with age. While 59 percent of Millennials want 2 or 2.5 bathroom, the share increases to 73 percent among Seniors.

Among the generations, Millennials are the most likely to choose three or more bathrooms – 27 percent, compared to 26 percent of Gen X’ers, 17 percent of Boomers, and 15 percent of Seniors.

Figure 5 shows the preference for basements by generation. A majority of Millennials – 73 percent — prefer to have a basement: 37 percent want a full basement (at an additional cost of $45,000) and 36 percent want a half basement (at an additional cost of $22,500). A majority of Gen X’ers would also prefer a basement (64 percent), slightly less than Millennials. This is not the case for older generations: a majority of Seniors (61 percent) and Boomers (52 percent) prefer a home without a basement.

This analysis shows that Millennials have diverging preferences when it comes to home layouts: considerable shares of them prefer open layouts, two-stories, and a relatively large number of bedrooms and bathrooms compared to older generations. Millennials are also more likely to want a basement in their home.

For additional information, an August 2019 NAHB study showed the history of Millennials’ preferences for select housing characteristics.  The greatest level of detail—including preferences for hundreds of items broken down by generation, by geography, first-time vs. repeat buyer, household composition, race, income, and price expected to pay for the home—is available in the 2019 edition of What Home Buyers Really Want.

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The Ecosystem of Homes on the Denver Real Estate Market 

August 22, 2019 Selling

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Denver is a patchwork of different home styles that developed over the last century.

With influence from the first and second World Wars, postwar baby boom, Arts and Crafts movement, and modern into contemporary design trends, Denver’s houses are products of a long architectural history.

Home prices in Denver continue to rise, inventory continues to plummet, and people continue to make the move to the Mile High City. Despite this, some homes sit on the market for months, yet hungry buyers scoop up other properties the same day they list. The inconsistency and imbalance prompted us to figure out why.

If we could tap into why homes perform the way they do on the Denver real estate market, we could help Colorado buyers and sellers better understand how to market and negotiate their home sales. We pulled existing home sales data to investigate the Denver real estate market, and our data analyst Evan Richards started to see a trend.

In Denver the style of a house drastically changes the way it sells. Here’s what we found:

What the Ecosystem of Homes on the Denver Real Estate Market Looks Like

From simple Traditional houses built during World War II to decked out Mountain Contemporaries, home styles on the Denver real estate market are diverse. We sifted through the data on Denver house styles and pulled out the ten most popular types across the city:

Bungalow, Cabin, Chalet, Contemporary, Denver Square, Mountain Contemporary, Rustic Contemporary, Traditional, Tudor, and Victorian.

Here’s the spread of home styles across Metro Denver:

Traditional Homes: The Most Affordable House in Denver Since 1941

With the onset of World War II came the necessity for affordable, simple architecture. Traditional, also called Minimal Traditional homes, grew out of prewar, post, and wartime years and spread throughout the city. These mass produced houses are small one story boxes with simple roofs, siding, and square floorplans.

Originally constructed to create cheap housing developments, Traditionals are spacious compared to the 750 square foot houses the Federal Housing Administration deemed as the minimum size for livability. Now simple Traditional Denver homes pepper the entire city and remain the most prevalent house type in Denver today.

Traditional houses have a larger lot size than most of the other popular home types: on average they are one fifth of an acre. Though the size of the lot is bigger, the affordable construction and simple, minimal design makes these homes, on average, the most affordable in Denver with an average price per square foot of $182.

Bungalows: The Fastest Selling Home on the Denver Real Estate Market

The smallest homes in Metro Denver are also the homes that move off the market the fastest. Bungalows, a smaller variation of Craftsman style homes, developed out of the Arts and Crafts movement of 1890-1910. Bungalows in Denver were primarily built from 1900 through 1930 in direct response to a fascination with the style, which originated in Britain.

You can see where the trend was most popular in Denver in the early 20th century as Bungalows cluster around Highway 25 in the Central Southern part of the city and in the Northeast and Northwest quadrants. Tudor homes, also a manifestation of the Arts and Crafts style, concentrate in similar areas, though most of these houses stand in the Northeast part of the city.

Bungalows are more expensive to build because of larger foundation requirements, larger lot size requirements, larger roofs, and their often intricate details. The price per square foot of these homes, on average, is $272, making them the second most expensive house on our list.

If you’re a buyer looking to move into one of these quaint, well constructed homes, keep a close eye on any listed for sale, especially within your target neighborhood. These houses last 85 days on the market on average, with some selling the same day they were listed. The average 85 day turnaround makes bungalows the fastest selling homes on our list.

Tudors: The Most In-Demand Homes on the Denver Real Estate Market

Tudor homes, like Bungalows, originated from the Arts and Crafts movement and started popping up throughout Metro Denver in between 1910 and 1920. You’ll find Tudors concentrated in the Park Hill neighborhood because the area developed at the same time the Tudor style was popular: most homes in Park Hill were built from 1920-1930.

Tudor homes also concentrate in the Wash Park and Belcaro neighborhoods. These areas, like the Park Hill neighborhood, were erected in the early 20th century, when Tudor styles were at the height of popularity in Denver.

Intricate Denver Tudors have the second lowest days on market average and, most notably, the highest average price per square foot out of all other Denver home styles. Like bungalows, Tudors also cost more to build but these homes are larger than bungalows on average. Tudors get the best average sale to list price out of all Denver style.

The Denver Square: A House Style Named for the City

The Denver Square is a local variation on the Foursquare style. Denver Squares are boxy in shape and developed in reaction to the overly detailed look of Victorian homes. Denver squares are two story constructions with large, plain facades. These homes are mostly in the central part of the city and have a high sale to list ratio.

Though Denver Squares are mountain high’s own variation on an 1890s-1930s much-loved style, the localized house type is less popular on the Denver real estate market than others. Denver Squares have a longer time spent on market than Bungalows, Tudors, Victorians, and Traditional homes, respectively.

Chalets: The Most Elusive Homes in Denver

“Mountain” or “Ski” Chalet style houses are majestic mountain retreats with pointed facades and triangular windows that stretch across the entire front of the house. Chalets typically have warm wood exteriors with wraparound porches in the front. You may recognize this style from the 2014 HGTV Dream Home giveaway in Lake Tahoe. These large, luxurious vacation homes are often associated with the Chalet style but most Chalets in Denver take after the Swiss Chalet style.

“Mountain” and “Ski” Chalets developed out of the Swiss Chalet style, which is the type of Chalet you’ll find across Denver. Swiss Chalets are 2 story homes built with inexpensive materials. Distinct from the “Ski” style, these houses are more modest with a tall rectangle shape and stone that decorates the exterior.

Swiss and Ski Chalets are few and far between in Denver but their elusiveness has little effect on how quickly these houses sell. According to our data, Chalets take significantly longer to sell than Denver’s fastest selling house. Where a Bungalow sells in 85 days to sell on average, a Chalet home takes 124.

To see what these numbers mean for Colorado Buyers and Sellers, go to Homelight to read the whole post.

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Signs You’re Ready to Move

Posted by West + Main Homes 

Have you grown used to your current lifestyle but can’t help thinking that something feels off? It’s not always easy to recognize when you should start looking for a new house, but the reasons why you feel this way shouldn’t be ignored. If any of the following warning signs ring a bell, then it might be time to consider a move.

You Feel Stuck

Falling into a routine can be a good thing and can help reinforce a lot of good behavior, like going to the gym or sticking to the same diet, for example. However, if your current lifestyle feels like you’re just going through the motions, then it might be time for a change of pace. It could be that you’d find more fulfillment with a career change. But let’s face it, a job change might require you to move anyway, and broadening your options to career options outside of where you’re currently living will unveil an endless amount of opportunity.

You Need More Space

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have a lot of variety in your life. However, with change comes new demands from your house, one of which will probably end up being space. Do you plan on welcoming kids into the world? Or perhaps you’d like to take in an aging family member (kudos!). Either way, you’re going to want to be able to accommodate them. With a new, more spacious home, you can worry less about tripping over your childrens’ toys or telling a guest to sleep on the couch. 

You’re Sick of Your Commute

On a similar note, you may have a job you love with a commute that is less than ideal, especially if you happen to live in a densely populated area. A long commute to work can take hours out of your week—time that you could be spending on more productive things. Beat the traffic (and possible road rage) by finding a place closer to the office. 

You Can’t Keep Up With Rent in Your Area

No matter what your salary is, it can be hard to keep up with the rising cost of living. It’s generally recommended that no more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income (before taxes) should go toward your rent or mortgage. If your housing exceeds that, then you might want to consider moving to a more affordable location. Doing so will free up much more money to be used for enjoyment or stowed away in your savings.

You Can Afford to Upgrade

On the other hand, it’s possible that you’ve simply outgrown your current living situation and have the means to improve it. It’s true that you could renovate your current house to include more modern features, such as central air conditioning and heat, an updated kitchen, new appliances, and so forth, but with the amount of money and time it takes to upgrade, you might as well find a new place that already has what you’re looking for. Examine your current financial situation to get an idea of what your options are. If you’re looking for ways to make your dollar stretch, consider employing the help of an online banking platform that can help you save money to put toward a down payment substantial enough to make your mortgage more reasonable. 

Your Current Neighborhood is Declining

Hey, it happens, and for a variety of reasons. Crime rates, little opportunity, natural disasters, you name it! Whatever the reason, your neighborhood might be headed in the wrong direction, and it’s best to get out while you can still make a decent buck on your house. If you happen to notice a lot of foreclosures or properties for sale in your area, it might be just the sign you need to make the move.

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