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5 Home Renovations to Do This Summer

Whether you’re considering selling your Denver-area luxury home or you want to give your current home more appeal, summer is a great time to think about home improvements. Here are five home renovations you’ll want to consider this summer.

#1 – Remodeling Your Kitchen

A kitchen remodel is a big undertaking. Not only do you need to choose new appliances, fixtures, and even cabinetry, but you’ll also need to find ways to prepare food while construction is underway. Kitchen home renovations are for improving overall value, too. Summer is the absolute best time to start your kitchen remodel for one main reason – the weather. After all, you can’t entertain guests in a kitchen under construction, but you certainly can entertain them outdoors. It’s a great time to put some food on the grill and enjoy a meal al fresco.

#2 – Redoing Your Bathroom

When buyers look at homes, they pay the most attention to the kitchen, but the bathroom comes in a close second. If you have one or more bathrooms with outdated designs or fixtures, summer is a good time to get those renovations underway. Think about replacing fixtures, tiles, shower controls, vanities and sinks, and even wallpaper, if present. These things can completely change the way your bathroom looks and feels, which can add value to your home.

home addition 300x199 5 Home Renovations to Do This Summer#3 – Adding Rooms or Extensions

If you’ve thought about adding an extension to your home in the past, the summer months afford the perfect opportunity. These home renovations are costly – up to $45,000 for a single bedroom, in fact – but they will pay off in the long run. The most common home addition is a bedroom, though it’s possible to add a bathroom, extended kitchen, or even a full upper level. Again, these additions can add significant value to your home by increasing the available living space.

#4 – Replacing Your Windows

If your windows are decades old, there’s a good chance they need to be replaced. In the last 20 years, technology has improved to the point that the windows you can buy today are far more efficient than the ones you bought only 10 years ago. Window tint, triple-paned glass, and even special gases trapped between the panes of glass can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Of course, new windows also make your home look better, which makes it more appealing to you – and to potential buyers should you choose to sell. This is one of the most important home renovations of them all.

#5 – Finishing Your Basement

If your home has an unfinished basement, this area represents underutilized living space. Most unfinished basements are used for laundry and storage, and they usually house major appliances like HVAC systems, water heaters, and even water filtration systems. Finishing your basement won’t always net you a massive return on your investment, so it may not improve the value of your home by more than what you spend. However, in the long run, the extra living space will make your home feel larger, and it may improve the rate at which it sells.

Home renovations like these can make your home feel more like a home, both to you and to potential buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms are very important, and replacement windows can reduce energy bills by quite a bit, too. Room additions and basement renovations aren’t quite as profitable, but they can make your home more attractive to buyers or give you more living space.

Selling Homes Quickly: What to Do When Your Home Just Won’t Sell

You’ve finally put your home up on the market, and you’re excited for the offers to start rolling in. You’ve done a great job remodeling and staging, your home looks amazing, and your real estate agent is confident. However, weeks go by, and you’ve only gotten a handful of offers that aren’t really what you expected. What went wrong? Here are some tips for selling homes quickly, especially if they’ve been on the market a while.

Consider More Improvements

Selling homes quickly is simpler in some markets than in others. In fact, homes in one Denver neighborhood may sell in just a couple weeks while those in other neighborhoods sit on the market for months. If you find that your home just isn’t selling – or maybe you’re just getting lowball offers – consider making a few more simple improvements here and there. For example, a different color paint in the kitchen, different fixtures in the bathroom, and perhaps even more modern window treatments can make a world of difference. You may not need an all-out remodel, but a few slight improvements may go a very long way.

selling homes quickly 300x225 Selling Homes Quickly: What to Do When Your Home Just Wont Sell

Cut the Price

If it’s been a few months since you put your home on the market and you continue to get low offers, you may need to cut your price. This is especially true if you have interested buyers who just can’t seem to get financed by a variety of different lenders. Consider your appraisal, tax assessment, and other factors, then look at the offers you’ve received. Try to come up with a lower price that’s fair to the buyer, but one that isn’t going to cause you to practically give your home away. A good real estate agent can help you adjust your asking price.

Consider Renting Temporarily

There are times when, no matter how nice your home might be, and no matter where it’s located, it might just take some time to sell. For this reason, many Denver-area homeowners have rented their homes temporarily while waiting for a buyer. This can be tough, especially if you’ll be showing the home while a renter is present. Market your rental to individuals or families who will only be in the area a short time, or to those who may be in a situation opposite yours – they’ve sold their own homes, but haven’t found the right one to purchase.

Focus on the Best Parts of “Defective” Homes

If your home is located in a difficult area – near an airport runway, downstream from a farm, etc. – it’s going to be a difficult home to sell. When it comes to selling homes quickly, it’s best to target people who may not mind these “defects”. For example, you may choose to bring a potential buyer’s attention to the soundproof windows, which can help dull the sound of passing aircraft. You might mention that your home has been sealed by professionals to block odors from nearby farms during the warmer months, as well.

Selling homes quickly isn’t about drastically cutting the price and limping away from the deal. Rather, it’s about focusing on the home’s best features, making improvements where necessary, and ensuring that you’re asking a fair price. If all else fails, you may consider renting while you wait for the perfect buyer to come along, too.

Consider These Bathroom Remodel Ideas Before Selling Your Home

If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, there are two things that you should focus on above all else – your kitchen and your bathroom. These are the two rooms that potential buyers will scrutinize more than the others, so it’s important that they are modern, up-to-date, and attractive. Here are some bathroom remodel ideas to consider before selling.

Colors

The color of your bathroom will make the very first impression on a potential buyer, so it’s important to pay close attention to this. While neutrals are always best when it comes to bathroom remodel ideas before selling your home, these days, bolder colors are becoming quite popular. Black bathroom tiles aren’t uncommon, especially in larger spaces. You can also consider reds, browns, and perhaps even some blues, though it’s important to ensure that these aren’t too bold. The important thing is to leave room for the new buyer’s sense of style, so if your choice of color takes over the entire room, it’ll likely put that buyer off.

Tiles

Bathroom tiles can make a major statement in any size space, so make sure you choose high-quality tiles that are easy to clean, but still aesthetically pleasing. You can mix and match your tiles in different areas of the bathroom as long as they complement each other; for example, you may choose a sand color for your sink and toilet area, but a marbled tile that contains streaks of that sand for your shower and tub area. Be sure to consider texture and grout color, as well, because both of these can have a tremendous impact on the tile’s visual appeal.

bathroom remodel ideas 300x200 Consider These Bathroom Remodel Ideas Before Selling Your HomeFixtures

Next, fixtures are a vital part of all the most popular bathroom remodel ideas today. When potential buyers see modern, high-end fixtures – such as faucets, toilet levers, showerheads, and spouts – they’re more likely to find the space interesting. In fact, many buyers claim that the fixtures in bathrooms alone have inspired some of their best design ideas. For this reason, make sure you splurge on the fixtures. Choose items that complement the architectural style of the room. For example, if the room has an older, classic feel, go for bronzed fixtures. On the other hand, if you’re going for a sleek and modern look, choose squared-off chrome or even brushed nickel.

Style

Finally, all bathroom remodel ideas are about creating a sense of style. If you prefer the traditional vanity, toilet, and shower/tub combo, this is actually preferred among many buyers. However, you might also consider a claw-foot tub and pedestal sink, which are still quite desirable and bring a more “antique” feel to the room. Remember to always stick to whites and off-whites for these appliances since a brightly-colored toilet or tub can confuse potential buyers and make it more difficult for them to imagine themselves in those spaces.

When it comes to bathroom remodel ideas prior to selling your home, you have thousands of options available to you. The best advice is to choose neutral colors, clean tiles, and fixtures that are all cohesive. The goal, after all, is to impress the potential buyers while still leaving room for them to impart their own senses of style.

Guidelines for Showing Your House

If you’re selling your home, a good rule of thumb involves providing potential buyers with almost unlimited access and avoiding placing restrictions on showings. If you aren’t showing your house frequently enough, you could miss out on potentially interested buyers who are willing to pay your asking price. Here are some guidelines for making sure you’re showing these buyers the best.

#1 – Make a Good First Impression

First things first, you’ll want to make sure that you pay close attention to curb appeal when showing your house. Keep your lawn well-manicured, your landscaping fresh, and your kids’ toys, bikes, and equipment put up and out of sight. You should also put your cars in the garage if they will fit. If they do not, move them away from the house. Having cars in the driveway or parked on the street in front of your house can inhibit the view of your home.

colorado luxury home 300x193 Guidelines for Showing Your House#2 – Clean Thoroughly

If you’re still living in your home, be sure that you’re keeping it spotless to the best of your ability. Vacuum regularly, make sure you’re dusting things each day, make your beds, keep the bathroom and kitchen clean, and so on. These things can give your home that “brand-new” look, which is important when it comes to showing your house. You want to help spark imagination in the minds of potential buyers; you don’t want them to come to think of your home as cluttered or dirty.

#3 – Keep an Eye on Lighting

Lighting is very important when you’re showing your home. As such, make sure you’ve opened all the curtains and shades and turned on all the lights – including those in your garage or basement – when you’re showing your house. If you’re showing in the evening hours, turn on the outdoor lights, too. Finally, if the view from certain windows isn’t the best, leave blinds partially closed. This way, the view is mostly blocked, but natural light still filters through.

#4 – Neutralize Odors

If you have pets, or if you enjoy cooking at home, be wary of this when you’re showing your house. Guests don’t want to smell pet or cooking odors, nor do they want to be overwhelmed with perfumes or air fresheners. Baking soda in strategic areas can help neutralize odors, and if you need to add a bit of freshness, consider using Febreze rather than a strong air freshener.

#5 – Provide Information for Buyers

Last, but most certainly not least, you should always provide potential buyers with plenty of information when showing your house. Brochures on the entry table can do this very nicely; in fact, if you offer these just prior to the showing, then potential buyers can look at the layout of the home before they ever step out of the foyer. You can also list your asking price and any benefits available to buyers here.

Showing your house is an important part of selling it. You should be willing to show your home at a moment’s notice, and you should always keep things clean and tidy. Following these steps will help you sell your home more quickly – and for more money.

Luxury Home Pricing: Getting the Most Money for Your Home

Selling a luxury home is a big endeavor. If you’ve decided to put your Denver executive home on the market, then the most important decision you have to make involves setting your asking price. When people shop for homes, the price is the first thing they see. Because of this, you’ll want it to be appealing. Here are some ways to come up with the perfect luxury home pricing.

Asking Price Equals First Impression

If there’s one equation that always rings true in the real estate world, it’s the fact that your luxury home pricing will dictate the first impression people have of your home. For example, if buyers think your asking price is too high, they’ll push your home to the side before they’ve even seen it. For this very reason, it’s important to be incredibly fair – and incredibly competitive – when it comes to setting an asking price.

luxury home pricing 300x179 Luxury Home Pricing: Getting the Most Money for Your HomeHire a Real Estate Agent

You might think that hiring a real estate agent seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to get the most money possible for your home. After all, your agent works on commission and will get a portion of whatever the buyer pays for your home in the end. However, studies have shown that people are more willing to pay more for a home being sold by a prominent real estate agent. This means that you’ll likely end up getting the same amount of money anyway, and your home will likely sell more quickly, too.

Know Your Home’s Market Value

Understanding your home’s fair market value can help you make better choices about luxury home pricing. The value is a balance of three different appraisal methods used in the real estate industry. These are:

  • The lender’s appraisal, which helps them calculate a home equity loan or refinance;
  • The tax assessor, who will determine the value of your home to calculate your property taxes; and
  • Home insurers, who calculate the value of your home to set your premium.

Your home’s market value takes all of these factors into consideration. However, the fair market value is the price that you would receive if both you and potential buyers acted on your best interests after the home has been on the market for a reasonable amount of time.

Setting the Value

There are other things that you can calculate when it comes to luxury home pricing, too. For example, you can calculate the cost of replacing your home by estimating the value of the land and add the cost of rebuilding your home including any improvements. You can also calculate the income that your home generates, especially if you rent part of it out. Finally, you can also research the selling price of comparable properties in your local area and neighborhood, which can influence your choices, too.

Luxury home pricing can be a bit complicated as it requires plenty of calculations and access to information and statistics around your local area. That’s why it’s always a good idea to hire a real estate agent to help you decide how much to ask for your home.

5 Tips for Landscaping Your Home to Sell

If you’re selling your home, then you might already know that staging is a very important part of the process. However, staging doesn’t just happen on the inside; you’ll need to work on your landscaping, too. Here are five tips for landscaping your home to sell at the highest possible value.

#1 – Keep Up on Regular Maintenance

Waiting until you have a scheduled showing to run out and make the yard look nice is a bad idea. If your home is listed on the market, then so is your address, and chances are good that people are driving by to get an idea of what the home looks like. If your yard is less than perfect, it’ll give them a very bad first impression. Keep up on your regular maintenance – mowing, weeding, twig removal, and even picking up pet droppings – in order to make your home look inviting.

#2 – Make Wise Use of Plants

Although you can do a lot to make your yard look nice, you can’t force your neighbor to paint his garage door or move her garbage cans. You can, landscaping your home to sell 300x200 5 Tips for Landscaping Your Home to Sellhowever, plant things like bamboo, tall decorative grass, and other plants to hide them. Make sure that there are no trees too close to your home, though; this can put buyers off since tree roots cause significant structural damage to the foundation of your home. Consider cutting down any trees that are too close.

#3 – Add Some Features

Your goal should be to make your outdoor space as inviting and “livable” as your indoor space. If you don’t have any landscaping features, consider adding some. Patio furniture is a great investment in your future since it makes your yard seem far more inviting, and things like stepping stones, walkway lighting, fire pits, fountains, and more make things look incredibly luxurious. Don’t go overboard, but make your yard look nice, warm, and cozy.

#4 – Remember Universal Appeal

When you stage your home for sale, you’ll probably need to remove personal effects or repaint walls if they aren’t run-of-the-mill colors. This is because you’ll want your home to appeal universally to everyone. You should remember the same advice when it comes to your landscaping. Take down a playset you bought for your kids and take it with you. Remove any political campaign signs, sports team memorabilia, and other things that may put some folks off and keep them from buying.

#5 – Simpler Is Better

When trying to make your yard look nice, more is not better and better doesn’t always mean extravagant. The best thing you can do is keep things simple so that future homeowners can get ideas of how they would change things to suit their own needs. For example, 200 exotic plants might look absolutely stunning, but will prospective homeowners really be willing to hire someone to take care of all of them? When selling your home, the simpler the landscaping, the better.

Landscaping your home to sell isn’t a difficult task. Just remember to keep things universal and simple, use plants to your advantage, and keep your yard maintained – even between showings. Curb appeal is just as important as the staging inside your home, so use it to your advantage.

Advice on Preparing for Your Home Inspection

If you will be selling your home in the Denver area, there is certainly plenty to consider. Along the way, many homeowners do not stop to think about the inspection process and the impact it can have on the asking price. Below, you can find some of the most common problems along with advice for taking care of them long before your home inspection.

home inspection 300x200 Advice on Preparing for Your Home InspectionRoof Repairs

The roof is one of the most important components of a home inspection, so it is well worth your time to hire a contractor yourself and make any necessary repairs. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders recommends a thorough inspection once every three to five years anyway, so there’s no time like the present. If your trusted contractor fixes a problem or fails to find one, you can rest your mind at ease knowing that you will pass this portion of your home inspection with flying colors.

Dampness in Crawl Spaces or Basements

If there is dampness in the crawl space or basement below your home, then you may have other problems that you can’t see. Oftentimes, moisture comes in through tiny cracks in the foundation, poor grading, leaky pipes, or even an inadequate gutter and downspout system. You’ll need to make sure to have all of these checked, and once the issues (if any) are fixed, be sure to waterproof any previously damp spaces for peace of mind.

Wiring Issues

Before putting your house on the market, make sure that you also hire a licensed electrical contractor to come to your home. This individual should check various components of your wiring, including the panels and breakers, to make sure that everything is working properly and safe. This is especially true if you’ve had any work done in your home since your last inspection that included electrical components.

Maintenance Records

Before you can sell your home, you need to ensure that all of the major appliances are working correctly. These include your HVAC system first and foremost, along with your water heater and perhaps sump pump, if you have one. If you’ve completed regular maintenance on these, be sure to obtain the records from the company responsible for the maintenance. These can go a long way in a home inspection as they are proof that the appliances have been maintained and repaired correctly since they were installed.

DIY Repairs

Sometimes it is quicker and easier to repair something in your home on your own than wait for a contractor to do it for you. Unfortunately, though, some of these repairs may not be up to par when it comes to your home inspection. If you’ve completed any repairs on your own, be sure to hire someone to look it over for quality and workmanship. This way, you can fix any issues before the inspection and ensure that things run smoothly.

A home inspection is just one of many things you’ll need to do before you can sell your home. Following the advice above can help make the inspection process smoother, ensuring that you not only save yourself time, but that you get a fair market value for your home.

get a fair market value for your home.

Does a Finished Basement Add Market Value?

A finished basement is a wonderful addition to any Denver area luxury home, but whether or not it adds to the overall market value of a home depends on several factors. If you are thinking of finishing your basement to help sell your home, the following will help you decide whether the return is worth the investment.

finishedbasement 300x201 Does a Finished Basement Add Market Value?What Type of Space Will it Be?

When it comes to finished basements, you need to consider what type of space you will create during your renovation. Will you create additional bedrooms? Will it be a huge apartment designed for a teen, an elderly parent, or even a renter? Perhaps you prefer a recreational space like a theatre or game room. Any of these ideas are sound in theory, but you will get the most return on your investment when you create additional multipurpose rooms rather than a space designed for a single activity or concept.

Consider the Basement’s Structure

Another thing you should think about before spending the money to finish your basement is the overall structure of the space. If the ceiling height is very low or if the room lacks its own dedicated entry and exit, then potential buyers may not view it as additional living space at all. A walkout basement adds much more value than a basement that is only accessible through a set of stairs from the main floor. Along those same lines, if there is visible ductwork, or if the HVAC equipment is in plain view, potential buyers are more likely to see it as a utility or storage space than a living space.

Research the Other Homes in the Area

Another great indication as to whether finishing your basement adds market value involves looking at the location’s “comps”, or sales comparisons. Your real estate agent has access to these, and he or she can find out several pieces of key information through these comps. For instance, he or she can determine whether the most recently sold luxury homes in the neighborhood have finished basements. He or she can also determine how much those finished basements add to the overall value of the homes in the area. This information is crucial in determining whether you will see a return on your investment, or whether it will end up costing you money in the end.

The Importance of a Properly Finished Basement

Adding some carpeting and painting the walls might make your basement look nice, but it hardly constitutes a “finished” basement. You will need to consider things like waterproofing, heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical work in the space. The goal is to create a space in the basement that mimics the living space on the main floors. Remember that potential buyers will need to see inspection reports, too, so it is important that you do all of these things up to code. Hiring professional contractors is the best way to go.

Whether or not a finished basement will add market value to your home depends on all of these factors, but remember that it all comes down to making your home appeal to the buyer. The best way to determine whether you should finish your basement prior to putting it on the market is to speak with a real estate agent who works with luxury homes in the Denver area.

The Denver Home Seller’s Checklist

Selling a luxury home is a huge decision and one that often causes stress and anxiety. Choosing a fair market price and getting your home ready for market can be overwhelming. The following home seller’s checklist can help you get all of your proverbial ducks in a row, organize the sale process, and make you feel better about your decisions in the end.

#1 – Hire the Right Real Estate Agent

The absolute best thing you can do to make the process of selling your executive home simpler involves hiring a real estate agent who will act as your advocate throughout the process. Your agent needs to be knowledgeable of the market in your local area, and he or she should be able to provide references.

#2 – Pack and Plan Early

Another bit of good advice involves planning your move and packing for your move early. Weeding out the things you own is a great way to organize for staging, and you can even host a yard sale or make tax-deductible charitable donations through local organizations.

cashforhomme 300x208 The Denver Home Sellers Checklist

#3 – Discover the Problems with Your Home

It is imperative to repair any issues that may exist with your existing home if you want to sell it for full market value. You must disclose any problems according to the law, so things like termites, asbestos, lead paint, dry rot, and even a new highway planned nearby can all have serious effects on the sale. Repairing these issues not only removes them from the disclosure list and makes your house seem like a bargain, but it also drives up property value and saves you from legal action.

#4 – Choose What You Will Sell with the Home

Will you sell only the home with none of the appliances? Conversely, will you sell your home in move-in condition, including all of the appliances and perhaps even the furniture? It is necessary to make this decision before listing your home. In some cases, the inclusion of appliances and even furniture drive up value and make your home appealing.

#5 – Improve the Interior

Before showing your home, it is important to scrub, clean, polish, and/or shampoo every single surface. A smudge here or a speck of dirt there is enough to throw off a prospective buyer. Cosmetic improvements are also welcome so long as they do not include bold statements. Neutral is often best.

#6 – Improve the Exterior

Some of the things to consider before marketing your home include repainting (or at least touching up) the exterior paint, mowing and trimming the lawn, sweeping sidewalks, trimming shrubbery, and perhaps even planting flowers to give your home a lived-in feel. You should also keep downspouts, shutters, and other outdoor accessories in good repair.

#7 – Look for a New Home

Once your home is on the market and you feel confident that you are moving toward a successful closing, it is time to look for a new home of your own. Your real estate agent, lawyer, and other advisors can provide you with valuable advice here. Although timing two closings is stressful, it is certainly possible, and it is better than missing the chance to buy your dream home.

Selling your home is a process that often takes some time. The best way to make things simpler and easier – and to help mitigate much of the stress – is to hire a professional real estate agent who is familiar with the Denver housing market. This way, you can work together to sell your home to the right buyer and for the right price.

The Importance and Effectiveness of Staging Your Home

One of the most important things that any seller can do is stage his or her home. The term staging refers to arranging furniture and decorating in a way that you appeal to the buyer’s sense of what “home” actually means. Often, it involves focusing on the home’s best assets. Not all sellers take the time to stage their homes, so if you choose to do it, you will have an edge over the competition.

What a Buyer Really Wants

When someone looks at your home with the intention of buying, he or she looks at much more than the home’s structure and location. Buyers look at your home with their own dreams in mind, thinking of their existing and future children, or perhaps even their grandchildren. They think of where their guests will dine, where they will gather, and where the children will play. Staging, then, creates more emotion for potential buyers. If you stage your home carefully, you can sell potential buyers on their dreams – and that is how you will get the most value for your home.

Where to Focus

Although a little staging in every room, nook, and cranny is certainly helpful in selling your home, it is not always feasible due to time constraints. The focus areas for staging are the exterior, the entryway (and the entire line of sight from the entryway), the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the main bathroom. Buyers will consider these areas first before moving on to second, third, and fourth bedrooms or their attached bathrooms.

staged home 300x183 The Importance and Effectiveness of Staging Your HomeClean and Declutter

The biggest part of staging is cleaning and decluttering your home. Remove any trace of dirt from the carpets, smudges on kitchen appliances, wrinkles in bed linens, and soap scum from sinks or shower stalls. All of these things impact potential buyers and the last thing you want them to think about is how quickly their new home will get dirty. Along the same lines, make certain that you declutter your home since this tends to make buyers think there is too little storage space. Finally, depersonalize your home. Take down family photos, remove art with family members’ names, and put away anything that is reminiscent of your family. Remember that you want your buyers to see the home as theirs.

Paint and Wallpaper

If you have wallpaper or custom paint colors throughout the house, the best thing you can do before you begin showing your house to potential buyers is to take down that wallpaper and repaint the custom walls. The things that you find appealing may not appeal to someone else, after all, and you do not want to force your personal tastes on your potential buyers. Instead, give them a blank canvas upon which they can express their own personalities and decorative styles.

Staging your home is one of the most effective ways to sell it quickly and for a high price. It is certainly a seller’s market in the Dallas area, but you still have plenty of competition. The goal of staging is to appeal to the potential buyers’ emotions and make your home feel like their home.