Why do I need an agent to sell my home? Can’t I just sell it myself?

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This is a question I hear from people trying to sell their home every day. The short answer is, yes – you can sell your home yourself. But you will undoubtedly have a harder time than if you had worked with an agent, and you’ll probably (dun dun DUN) lose money on the deal.

Studies show that home sellers who use a real estate agent to represent them generally get a better price than those who sell their home themselves. That is because agents stay up to date on critical processes, and can keep your home sale to the letter of the law. Many buyer agents won’t even show FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner) to their clients because of the legal risks AND the likely lack of compensation for the agent, so selling a home on your own can actually COST you more money than it saves you on paying a commission.

I can help you sell your home for top dollar, in the right time frame, and handle all the paperwork for you. I will market your home online through all the top search engines, and throughout the neighborhood. I will also market your home directly to other agents and buyers. A lot of agents just throw a sign in the yard and show your home on their website, but I work for my money – I go out and find agents with qualified buyers who are ready to buy now!

If you’re thinking of selling, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by being a FSBO. Call me today for a free market analysis to find out your home’s current market value and we can go from there to get your home sold fast!

Alex Frazier, Keller Williams Downtown – 303.668.8312

www.alexfrazierproperties.com

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Top DIY weekend projects to improve the value of your home

Improvement

The average time a homeowner stays in their current home is just 7 years, so chances are you or someone you know will soon be looking to sell. Everyone wants to get top dollar for their house, but not everyone has a stunning, fully updated house that will automatically bring high dollar bids in today’s market. The good news is that’s okay! With these easy and cheap (some free) DIY projects, you can increase your home’s value without breaking the bank.

1. De-Clutter

When I show homes that are cluttered and full of “stuff,” I notice that the buyer kind of checks out during the tour. Clutter can overwhelm potential buyers and cause you to receive lower offers on your house. Make this de-clutter weekend first on your list to improving the showability and value of your home before it goes on the market.

2. Do a cabinet makeover

If your cabinets look old and outdated, don’t fret – you probably just need a fresh coat of paint or varnish. Another HUGE thing you can do to make your cabinets look instantly modern is replace the pulls with popular metallic ones. Stay away from anything colorful, plastic or with pictures of flowers (yes, those do exist).

3. Spiff up curb appeal

Entice more buyers to your home by replacing that old mailbox, plucking out weeds, trimming overgrown shrubs and bushes, and plant some flowers. Potted flowers along the walkway and by the front door go a long way.

4. Paint and patch

A fresh coat of paint in the living room, kitchen and master bedroom can bring big bucks. Neutral colors are best, and avoid anything dark as it makes the room look smaller. You’ll also want to patch any holes in the walls with a plaster and paint over when dry.

5. Update lighting and fixtures

Don’t go overboard here, but updating lighting fixtures and things like towel and tissue holders can go a long way in impressing buyers. You don’t want buyers to come into your house and immediately think “Brady Bunch.” If your lighting fixtures look like they’re from the 1965, go to your local home store and buy a new one for $20! With these upgrades, it’s best to go with a brushed nickle finish and steer clear of gold and bronze.

6. Clean floors and air out

Rent a steamer and clean dirty carpets, make those hardwoods glow, and eliminate obnoxious pet or smoke odors by placing citrus peels around the house for a few days. The porous citrus peels suck up airborne odors while the citric acid neutralizes them. Science lesson for the day!

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Denver area, call me, Alex Frazier, at 303.668.8312 to discuss your needs. Start your search of Denver CO homes for sale at www.alexfrazierproperties.com.

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5 unexpected upsides to buying in the off season

The off-season is a great time to buy, but don’t expect to score a mansion for pennies. Talk to me to get some real advice on what to expect. You may find you’ll get more consideration, responsiveness, speed, and maybe a better deal than shopping any other time of year.

Don’t wait for spring to come and bring with it a new wave of competition in the housing market. Click here to start your Denver area home search with me today!

1. Lower competition for your dream home.

In most places, the summer months are the hottest months of the year in real estate, because families with children prefer to move into their new homes before September. House shopping during the off-season can mean

  • fewer competitors,
  • fewer multiple offers scenarios, and
  • lower likelihood of being outbid.

2. Super motivated sellers.

Though there are fewer sellers during the off season, those who are active tend to be highly, highly motivated. Sellers who are willing to clear the whole family out of the house when everyone else is having warm fuzzy holiday gatherings are motivated to get their homes sold – and ready to entertain your offer to make that happen.

Even some banks and asset managers handling short sales and foreclosures may have above-average motivation to move properties off their books and get transactions closed before the year end. Don’t expect to score a mansion for pennies, but you might get you slightly more consideration, responsiveness and speed than in a distressed transaction at any other time of year.

3. Can’t miss properties that won’t wait

Off-seasons are when fewer new listings come on the market. That said, this is a great time to spot hidden gems that offer unique mixes of property fundamentals, amenities and location. There are sellers who have stellar homes, but have been holding off on listing all year for some reason or other. They end up listing at just the time that works for their lives. If you’re a picky buyer, putting your house hunt on hiatus when most other shoppers take a break puts you at the serious risk of missing “the one.”

4. Keeping a handle on your cash

You’d be amazed at how many buyers and sellers find their financial plans – and cash cushions – derailed by taking themselves out of the house hunting mindset. Overspending is easy to do. If you pass your holiday season focused on Open Houses and showings, versus how to find the bow big enough to stick atop your wife’s new car, you’ll minimize the likelihood of having to press pause on your real estate plans while you recoup from your hemorrhage of holiday funds.

5. Money pits become crystal clear

Buyers rely on inspections and disclosures to surface the hidden defects and property issues. But if you’ve ever read a property inspection report, you know they come with a laundry list of caveats and exceptions, line items where the inspector simply can’t make a call or vouch for a feature, because they could not see the feature in action during the time they were on site. Off-season house hunters have the unique advantage of being able to see the roof, drainage systems, slopes and basements of a property performing under the precise weather conditions – rain, snow, wind and sleet – that often cause unpleasant surprises to spring and summer home buyers. If ‘your’ target property has a roof leak, you’ll know it, if you view it at this time of year – and that allows you and the seller to negotiate a fix or a credit before you lock in your price and terms.

The off-season is a great time to buy, but don’t expect to score a mansion for pennies. Talk to me to get some real advice on what to expect. You may find you’ll get more consideration, responsiveness, speed, and maybe a better deal than shopping any other time of year.

For free, no pressure, no obligation real estate advice from a Denver area real estate pro, fill out the form below and Alex Frazier of Keller Williams Downtown Denver will get back with you ASAP!

A portion of this content was written by Trulia Realist Tara-Nicholle Nelson on the TruliaPro Blog.

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Top First Time Home Buyer Myths: BUSTED

A lot of people rule out the option of buying a home versus renting based on the fear that it’s too expensive or complicated. Buying a home is a big deal, but with the right Realtor to represent your interests, it’s not nearly as complicated as you’d think.

I’m here to bust the most common first time home buyer myths to help you achieve your dreams!

MythBusted

1. I can’t afford the down payment.

In the past, most lenders required huge down payments of 20% or more. But today, it is a million times easier to get a home loan with a very small amount of money up front. VA loans for veterans don’t require any down payment at all, while FHA loans require only 3.5%, and some conventional loans can be secured for only 5% down.

Maybe 3.5% is still too much for you. If so, don’t renew that lease just yet…there are programs available through which you can get a GRANT (you never have to pay it back) for 4% down payment assistance on your first home!

2. It’s cheaper to rent.

Lies. All lies! The truth is, the rental market thrives on people who think they have no option but to rent, and therefore charges a premium for apartment units. As a personal example, I was living in a very trendy, popular neighborhood near Downtown Denver, paying out the ear for a one bedroom apartment, thinking I couldn’t afford to buy a home of my own.

When I realized I was just throwing my money down the drain by renting when I could be building my credit and gaining equity through a mortgage payment. A few months later, I ended up buying a highly desirable loft in a downtown highrise building for 5% down and my monthly mortgage payment turned out to be – no joke – nearly $400 less than what I was paying in rent!

3. My credit sucks – I’ll never qualify for a loan.

I’m not going to tickle your ears and tell you that credit doesn’t matter when it comes to getting a loan – especially a home loan. It does matter, but it’s not everything. In the wake of the aftermath of the 2008 market catastrophe, lenders understand that many people were impacted and have become somewhat more lenient to home buyers.

In addition, there are lenders out there who cater to people with sub-par credit. You may end up with a slightly higher interest rate, but buying a home is not out of the question.

4. Houses are too expensive to maintain.

When you have a big house and a big yard, eventually a big problem will probably arise. But that’s why you have insurance. Many things that can go wrong around the house are covered by your home owner’s policy. On top of that, home warranties are available to protect your family from unforeseen circumstances.

Another route to take here is to buy a condo or townhome. You can have the full interior qualities of a house without the hassle of maintaining the exterior – the HOA takes care of that for you!

5. I don’t need a Real Estate Agent – I got this!

This is a trap a lot of first time home buyers fall into. They assume buying a house is all about scouring the internet for the perfect house, setting up showings with the listing broker for each property, and eventually signing a piece of paper to make it official. They think a Real Estate Agent is unnecessary and expensive. The truth is, for you as a buyer, a Real Estate Agent won’t cost a cent! It’s pretty standard for the seller to pay the commission, so you can rest assured that when you work with me you’ll receive top notch, personal service without ever paying me a dime.

Think of it this way – you’re an aspiring sailor and it’s your dream to sail around the world, but you have no experience and little understanding of how to operate the boat or navigate the seas. You have a friend who’s an experienced sea captain and he’s offered to come along with you on your journey to make sure you’re safe and on course – FOR FREE! Why would you set sail alone when you have a great resource in your sailor friend that won’t cost you a penny?

Same goes for Real Estate Agents.

So, in closing, I hope this post helps you realize that you CAN buy a home and you CAN stop wasting your hard earned money on rent. If you want to start a no pressure home search, feel free to CONTACT ME today!

Alex Frazier is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty Downtown in Denver, Colorado.

 

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Why Prequalify for a Loan Before You Start House Hunting?

Why get pre-qualified by a lender before shopping for a home? Based on my first hand experience, I have found several compelling reasons for home buyers to get pre-qualified for a loan.

1) You’ll uncover credit problems.

Ideally, you’ll want to contact a lender several months in advance of seriously searching for a home to buy. If any errors causing negative credit scores pop up, you’ll have a chance to get them resolved before you need a loan. Also, on the topic of credit problems, don’t expect to get a great loan at a great interest rate if you are a ghost in the eyes of the credit reporting agencies. Even though you have no debt and make $70,000 a year, if you have no credit history you should consider getting a credit card or auto loan – just make sure to pay it on time each month. This will establish a credit history for you and show future lenders that you’re a low risk customer.

2) You’ll know how much house you can afford.

Buyers often start their home search wide eyed and bushy tailed (whatever that means) only to find out that they’re looking way above their realistic price range. Once you add in interest, taxes, insurance, HOA fees, and PMI (if applicable), monthly loan payments can quickly get out of hand and out of your affordability range. Good Real Estate Agents only show you homes that are within your price range, and by being pre-qualified you can save time and disappointment by knowing exactly what that price range is.

3) Pre-qualification is often necessary for your offer to be taken seriously.

It’s pretty standard in the Denver area to submit a pre-qualification letter, signed by the lender, with the purchase contract offer. A pre-qualified buyer is a strong buyer in the seller’s eyes, and that matters when it comes to markets where multiple buyers are bidding for the same property. By being pre-qualified, you are ready to strike when the right opportunity comes along.

If you’d like to learn more about getting pre-qualified and start looking at homes, call or email me today at 303-668-8312 or alexfrazier@kwrealty.com! I have excellent lender contacts and full access to the entire listing database for the Denver Metro Area market.

Alex Frazier is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty Downtown in Denver, Colorado.

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