Colorado is an incredible state to live in as well as to invest in property. The housing market has also seen a major shift during the pandemic, with a majority of today’s home-buyers emphasizing space and outdoor living. If you’ve been thinking about selling your home in Colorado, there couldn’t be a better time than the present. But if you’re ready to list, it’s essential to do it the right way. I spoke with several brokers from Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, one of the top brokerages in the state, to learn the most important things to keep in mind when selling your home in Colorado.
Vet Your Broker
There isn’t a shortage of brokers in Colorado, so finding the right one can take a bit of narrowing down. Theo Jordan of Slifer, Smith & Frampton’s Breckenridge’s office tells me, “When it comes to selling your home, having the utmost trust in your broker to accomplish this goal while meeting your individual needs is the foundation to a successful relationship and ultimately a successful transaction. Speak with others in your area that you trust and ask for referrals.”
The listing appointment will also give you a better idea of whether you’re working with the right person. Jordan recommends taking the time to schedule appointments with a few brokers and getting to know them. “Don’t be shy in sharing what is most important to you when it comes to listing your home and asking how they will achieve this. Sellers’ top priorities can be different, so share what is most important. Is it communication between you and the broker, staging, ensuring the security of your home, or highlighting the special architectural features?”
Contact Your Broker’s References
Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to ask your broker for references. “Any broker worth their salt can provide testimonials from prior clients who will sing their praises so reading those should indicate the level of broker you’re interviewing,” says Crissy Rumford of Vail. “Ask to speak with the clients who wrote the testimonials. This will give you a better feel for how the broker met their expectations.”
The Right Broker Should Vet Your Potential Buyers
Meg Dworak, an agent based in Breckenridge, implores sellers to make sure their brokers are vetting buyings to assure a smooth sale. “In today’s hot market, home staging and Matterport walkthroughs are not as important as researching and verifying your buyer’s ability to execute on their offer. Otherwise, months may be lost, and your home will end up looking like it’s a ‘distressed sale’ on the MLS!”
If it’s a cash offer, the broker should also verify those funds.
Dworak also asks the buyer’s agent for more specific details on why they are buying the home. “I ask their agent qualifying questions about the buyer such as ‘is this going to be a primary residence or is it an investment?’ The level of commitment a buyer has to the home is very important, as the transaction may require negotiations, and we want our buyers to demonstrate that they are equally interested in getting to the closing table.”
List Your Home During The Right Season
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to putting your home on the market in Colorado. Jack Affleck and Lissa Tyler, two top agents in the Vail area, tell me that it’s best to put your home on the market during the prime of the season. “Ski resort properties such as a condo in Vail, see huge shifts in interest from buyers while they are in town and under the glow of their vacation lifestyle and enjoying resort life.”
Listen To Your Broker’s Advice About Staging Your Home
It’s essential to trust your broker and take their advice, even if it means spending a few extra dollars to stage, fix, or upgrade your home. “[Sellers need to] listen to their listing agents, when, for example, they ask to have the fluorescent pink wall painted neutral,” shares a Denver-based property agent with Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate. “Yes, your home is going to sell, but by not painting the wall— you are probably leaving $20,000 in a more competitive bidding war.” A seller recently working with the agent spent $5,000 on a combination painting, redecorating, and putting things in storage. As a result of this small investment, [the seller] cleared $50,000 in higher bids, paying for itself many times over.
Understand The Unique Challenges Of Colorado’s Geography
Selling in Colorado is quite different than selling in Los Angeles, New Mexico, Dubai, or just about anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, selling in a city like Denver may require a somewhat unique approach from selling in a place like Vail: “Our climate, elevation, construction methods, and local zoning regulations are unique to the geographical areas where a property is located, and the most experienced brokers will ask questions that will reveal special circumstances that need to be considered in marketing and the disclosure process of selling,” says Rumford. “If marketing a ranch, advertising should include information on water rights, types and number of animals permitted crop regulations, building codes, and any easement or title issues. If selling a ski town residence, there may be short-term rental restrictions, occupancy limits, and management agreements that must be honored.”