Buyers Love Bragging Rights

As a seller, no matter the state of the market – Buyer’s Market, Seller’s Market or Balanced Market, paying attention to your property’s pluses will pay dividends at the closing table. Let’s talk about some of the features and benefits of your home you’ll want to make sure to mention to your pool of buyers.

STORAGE

If you’ve got storage to spare, whether in closets, the basement, your garage or a nifty shed in the backyard, MENTION IT! Current renters and anyone upsizing will be in need of additional storage and “not enough storage” may be one of their chief complaints. “We’ve got way too much storage space in this home!” Said no one, ever! If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and mention it in the listing description.

COMMUTABILITY

Few people enjoy a lengthy or traffic-riddled commute, and traffic in the Denver area has increased over the past several years. If your property is convenient to bus stops, Light Rail service, or convenient routes to downtown or other saturated work areas, shout it from the rooftops. Potential buyers will be more likely to keep you on the list, and to pay asking price or more, if you help paint the picture of all the extra time they’ll have in the home with commuter friendly benefits nearby.

ROOM FOR GRANNY & GRAMPS

If your home has comfortable space to accommodate aging relatives long term, or even just for the weekend, share this information clearly. With an aging Baby Boomer population choosing to move in with family instead of into long term care, having the right space for older loved ones is a priority for many families. Don’t miss the opportunity to appeal to buyers with this need.

GREEN & EFFICIENT LIVING

Highlighting features in this category will appeal not only to the Eco chic, but to budget savvy buyers as well. If you have energy efficient windows, solar panels, water saving toilets/shower heads/sprinkler system, make these details known. Everybody wants to save money. Even noting the savings on heat or AC based on shade trees or the direction your home faces, ie. lots of natural sunlight and lower heating bills for an East or South facing home. And if you can mention exactly how much your efficient features allowed you to cut utility bills, even better! Buyers will eat this stuff up. To attract the Green Scene, make sure you mention built in green features like a compost or recycling bin, organic garden in your backyard or items like a rain water barrel. If you have cleaned and maintained your home using natural substances only, mention this as well.

As a seller, what kind of return can you expect on your investment right now? As a buyer, which features beyond location, number of bedrooms, square footage and such are the best investment for your real estate dollar? I’m happy to help you understand what’s happening in the Denver market, and help you maximize your home buying dollar or make the most of your real estate sale.

Jack Meyers
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

How Color Can Help (or Hurt) Your Sale

You don’t have to paint yourself into a bland corner or build a beige box to appeal to potential buyers, but there are good, better and best choices to make in paint colors, decor and accessories when preparing your home for sale. Read on for tips on revising the colors in your home to appeal to the most buyers, and choices to avoid if you’re planning a sale in the next 18-24 months.

paint-splash

In a Better Homes and Gardens survey, 58% of those polled listed orange, black and violet as the colors they’d be least likely to decorate with, in that order. One of the biggest fears shared by future homeowners is they’ll grow sick of the colors in their home. Cracking open a can of paint to try a new wall color may be easy for you (or not), but for some people, picking out a new shade, taping off and painting walls, trim and ceilings can be overwhelming. For some buyers, the move-in ready home they seek is a home that won’t require painting projects.

The BHG poll listed the living room, kitchen and bathroom as the most desirable spaces to feature color, with a preference for neutral, less saturated color in the foyer, dining room and master bedroom. If you’re going to leave a slightly “riskier” color in place when you list your home, pops of color in public spaces are safer bets; consider neutralizing high impact colors in the master bedroom or your home’s entryway. Even if your mantra is “nope to taupe,” you may want to choose a friendly shade of neutral beige, with pleasant accent colors or patterns, for your on-the-market bedroom.

Accent colors, rather than maximum color use on walls and in furniture, will please the most buyers. A heather gray sofa with pale gray walls can handle funky orange pillows, if that’s your speed. Buyers will be able to envision their own furniture in a neutral space like this, because even the least imaginative shoppers know your pillows will go when you do. Pumpkin orange walls though…that’s a tough sell for the majority of shoppers, and if they’re not willing to pick up a paint brush, they may cross your home off the list.

blue-paint

The survey revealed favorite colors (in order) are blue, green and neutral. Consider packing up your more colorful decor and weaving blue or green accents throughout your home for a cohesive design that will appeal to the most buyers. This can be done through pillows, picture frames, towels, dishware, area rugs and bedding. If your walls are already a neutral shade, adding accessories in the same color family will help your home feel like a show home rather than a disarray of mis-matchy-ness – a winning strategy for any listing.

red-door

One place to consider a bolder color choice is the front door. Check with your HOA for a list of approved paint color options and consider a classic red, hunter green or ochre (a deep yellow) as an accent shade on your door. A tasteful statement color on your front door (and a brand new door mat) can add to your home’s curb appeal for minimal investment, and enchant buyers from the moment they park the car.

The key to successful on-the-market interior design is to tone down any bold personal choices to make room for your buyer’s style. If your dream sofa is hot pink velvet with black and white striped pillows against a funky accent wall, go for it! In your next house. Take yourself out of the picture so buyers can picture life in “their” home, and you’ll help your sale happen in a timely fashion and for top dollar. At the end of the day, the color you’ll love most when your home sells is green; help your home’s top dollar potential by toning down bold colors and setting the stage for a successful sale.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Top Home Selling Mistakes

Top Home Selling Mistakes

and How to Avoid Them

Even in a seller’s market, there are things you can and should do to accommodate potential buyers. It can be challenging to set your personal beliefs about your home aside in order to see things from a buyer’s point of view, but that’s exactly the kind of thinking it takes to successfully sell your home. Read on for common seller mistakes that can cost you $$$ – and how to avoid these issues during the sale of your property.

The most common mistakes sellers make, according to Real Estate experts:

  1. Overpricing the Home
  2. Lack of Showing Availability
  3. Clutter
  4. Unpleasant Odors
  5. Deferred Maintenance

PRICE IT RIGHT

price

Ultimately, the price your home will be listed at is up to you. When you choose to work with an experienced Realtor, choose someone you can trust – and trust their ability to research an accurate Current Market Analysis (CMA) on your behalf. Even in a strong market, it is possible to overprice a home – making your property less attractive to buyers, causing the sale of your home to take longer, and probably costing you money in the end.

SHOW IT TO SELL IT

No matter what the market is like, every single showing could be the one that got away. Your Realtor’s job is to help you sell your time in a timely fashion, for the highest price possible. The more showings your property has, the faster it will sell. If your home lingers on the market because your big scary dog couldn’t be moved for showing appointments, or you didn’t feel like taking showings on a Saturday, the final price of your sale could take a hit; buyers will wonder why your home lingered in a hot marketplace, and adjust their offer accordingly.

SCALE BACK YOUR STUFF

Clutter

If all buyers see upon entering your home is a parade of collectibles, family portraits going back 25 years or piles-upon-piles of any kind of stuff, they won’t be able to picture themselves in your home. You don’t have to stage your home to sell it (although staging can positively impact the sales price of your home), but you should box up obvious clutter, tone down any taste-specific decor, and remove all but a bare minimum of family portraits. Buyers aren’t looking for your home – they’re looking for their home – and you need to get out of the way so they can picture themselves living there.

UNPLEASANT ODORS 

The sense of smell is one of our most powerful connections to memory, and there is nothing pleasant about stinky litter boxes, wet dog, indoor smoking or even certain strong cooking odors. Yuck! You don’t have to banish Fido or stop using your kitchen, but you should do everything in your power to minimize or eliminate odors. Consider having your carpets and furniture cleaned, hire professional cleaners to freshen the place up, use natural deodorizers like lemon, vinegar and baking soda, and give your house a good airing out on a nice day. Don’t spray gallons of noxious scented air freshener or burn flowery candles in every room; these are dead giveaways of an odor problem. Do buy a few bottles of unscented Febreze and lightly spray in affected areas of your home before work or a few minutes before a scheduled showing, if you are home. Ultimately, flooring and other surfaces affected by pets, etc., are likely to come up in sales negotiation. If you have furry family members and they make messes, you may pay a bit of a premium at the negotiating table. Don’t let your pets (or smoking or cooking) stink out potential buyers, and do be prepared for it to cost you a few bucks when you sell.

PROJECTS LEFT UNDONE

honey-do

Some homeowners keep meticulous files on every major appliance and system in their home, conducting maintenance at regular intervals and noting exactly what happened when, from furnace filter replacement to blowing out the dryer vent. The rest of us… well – not everybody is so on top of it. You may not change your furnace filter quite as often as you should, or fix a leaking faucet the day you spot the drip-drip-drip, but you should take care of minor maintenance issues before listing your home for sale. When buyers come across non-working appliances, broken sprinkler heads, cracked windows, etc. – they wonder what else you haven’t kept up with. Don’t give buyers a reason to cross your home off their list or lower their offer over home maintenance fears. Either tackle the honey-do list yourself, or hire a handyman to do it. Don’t assume the buyer will be happy to overlook minor issues with your home because you have. Would you buy a car with a flat tire or cracked rear view mirror? Probably not – and buyers won’t want the bother of completing chores you’ve been avoiding for months or more, either.

The cool thing about selling your home is – it isn’t rocket science! But it does help you net more for your home to work with an experienced professional who knows the market where you live, knows how to help you prepare for a sale, and can negotiate a deal that benefits both your timeline and your bottom line. It also makes a difference to check items like this off your list before you invite buyers through the door.

Call me or drop a line – I’m happy to give you the information you need to successfully buy, sell or invest in the greater Denver home marketplace.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Home Improvement MISTAKES for Future Sellers

Mom & Pop may have lived their entire lives in the same cozy home in Pleasantville, but chances are good the home you live in now may not be your forever home. The average American will move 11.4 times in their lifetime (maybe that “.4” is just switching bedrooms!), although figures vary depending on age and income level. When you are considering a permanent update to your home (flooring, appliances, structural changes or additions, landscaping, etc.), you should consider not only your budget and preferences, but the likes and dislikes of future buyers. Not every improvement will net you a 100% return, and some renovations may even hurt your chances of a top-notch home sale down the road. Here are a few home improvement mistakes to avoid:

Home Renovation

  1. Painting over desirable vintage surfaces. If you’ve got ugly wood paneling from the seventies and can’t afford to replace it, by all means bring out the paint. If you have charming exposed brick, think long and hard before you paint if white for your preferred “shabby chic” look. Many people love the look of exposed brick, and paint is nearly impossible to remove from brick. If you will likely move in less than 10 years, consider leaving it alone and focus on other updates.
  2. Choosing a garish shade of paint or siding. There are ways to win the color war in terms of your home’s exterior. Brick red with crisp white shutters, sunny yellow in the right neighborhood, navy blue … these shades can be winners in the right settings, but in the long run your safest bet is neutral shades like taupe, gray or neutral greens.
  3. Covering up hardwood flooring. If your home has hardwood flooring in refinishable condition, consider going that route rather than covering it up with wall to wall carpeting. More than half of buyers prefer hard surface flooring to carpet, and a professional refinishing job will last for years. If you love the feel of carpet underfoot, buy the largest rug you can afford. You’ll enjoy the soft texture on your tootsies and protect your hardwood floor as well.
  4. Installing a backyard pool. Pools make for all kinds of family fun – but they also come with liability concerns and increased homeowners insurance. Buyers that are initially lured in by the cool factor may have second thoughts when they consider the upkeep and undesirable extras that can accompany poolside living. The same goes for hot tubs. A small percentage of buyers will see it as a bonus, but buyers with germaphobia (or small children) will only see it as a headache.
  5. Forgetting to let the light in. You may enjoy blackout darkness in your bedroom when the sun rises and you’re trying to catch a few more zzz’s, but prospective buyers will best picture themselves in a sunny, well lit home. Don’t neglect lighting in your interior projects. Include plenty of ambient and task lighting in the form of dimmable overhead lights, undercabinet lighting and lamps. When your house is on the market, lighten up window treatments if necessary and keep them open to let in as much natural light as possible.
  6. Go easy on accessibility. If you have outfitted your home with stairlifts, step-in bathtubs or entryway ramps to accommodate your own needs or those of a loved one, consider minimizing these elements at the time of sale. For individuals or families who don’t require or desire these items, they can be a distraction and add age to the feel of a home. In some cases these elements may be necessary to the safety or comfort of the people living in your home. If that’s the case, renovate as necessary – but do so knowing you may need to undo these changes at the time of sale or accept a longer period of time on the market or lower price at the closing table.
  7. Ignoring outdated fixtures. Gleaming brass is so 1989 – and not in a fun retro way, either! Replacing dated knobs and fixtures on doors, bathrooms and in kitchens can add up, but if you know you’ll sell in the future, pick a classic finish like polished chrome or satin nickel and replace your knobs and fixtures over time as you can afford to do so. Start with most-used spaces (master bedroom, public bathroom, kitchen faucet) and work your way through the home a room or space at a time.
  8. Splurging on high maintenance countertop materials. You may love high end carrera marble or soapstone countertops, but these materials have a high level of maintenance to match their hefty initial price tags. Consider instead engineered quartz or granite counters, or if you have your heart set on marble, use it as a bathroom tile backsplash rather than a kitchen counter that will see a lot of use. Future buyers will thank you for this wise decision.
  9. Nixing a bedroom in favor of a larger master suite. Three bedroom homes will almost always command a higher sales price than two bedroom homes of similar square footage. If you can afford to build the master suite of your dreams and can live without the additional bedroom, consider renovation options that will allow you to turn the additional space back into a bedroom for a future sale, such as adding a door without removing an entire wall to turn the guest room next door into a killer closet. You’ll likely save on reno costs and be glad you set yourself up for success when it is time to list.

If you have questions about buying or selling in Metro Denver, give me a ring. I’m here to help however I can, and I’ve been helping people buy, sell and invest in Denver for over 21 years.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

Expanding Small Spaces

Whether you are planning to list your home for sale or stay in it for years to come, there are ways to expand the smaller spaces in your home to maximize your space or visually “add” square footage for an upcoming sale, or for your own enjoyment. And the great news is, these changes are affordable and don’t require major renovations.

Expand your space for a few bucks and minimal time & effort: 

Window Treatment

This designer does window treatments right!

Hang window treatments properly. And take the time to fix those that are hung incorrectly. The point of windows is to let in light and views; blinds should cover the entire window, but fabric window treatments are meant to dress your windows – not cover them up 100% of the time. Drapes should hang at or close to ceiling height and should reach all the way to the floor, either breaking at the floor or puddling a bit, depending on your preference. The inner edge of your drapery should overlap the window by no more than a few inches, so they are framing, but not covering the window when open. If you plan to live in your home long term, custom drapes are a wise investment you’ll enjoy for years, and lined drapes or blinds can help you save on heating and cooling costs, too.

Vertical Shelves

Vertical displays like this help draw the eye toward the ceiling.

Draw the eye up with vertical storage or display. This can be a tall bookcase with interesting sculpture or decor on top to really bring your eye up, an art installation that reaches high, shelves hung high and wide or even an especially tall headboard for your bed. Artwork, mirrors, etc. should not be hung too high, though. The center of a piece of art should be about 56 inches from the floor – higher will make viewers crick their neck and just looks silly. If you want your artwork to elevate the room, consider a gallery wall with a plethora of smaller pieces of art or sculpture that draw the eye higher than a single piece might.

Mirror

This narrow space looks twice as big thanks to a chic wall of mirror.

Reflect light and views with space expanding mirrors. This is a common trick of interior decorators, and for good reason. Mirrors can double the visual size of a room – especially if they reflect windows across the room, or some other source of light. Consider an oversize mirror (buy the biggest you can afford) or a series of smaller mirrors gathered on a single wall. Unique frames can add interest, but you can achieve the same affect with unframed, plain mirror panels as well. Be thoughtful in terms of placement; you don’t want your mirrors to reflect dark spaces or anything unattractive.

Uncluttered

Can you imagine this dainty space full of stuff? Clutter Free = Happy Homeowners

Declutter. Repeat. Nothing can make a room feel more cramped than too much stuff! Even a large room will feel smaller if it is stuffed to the gills with furniture, knick-knacks and unnecessary clutter. Studies have shown that cluttered rooms can actually raise our anxiety level, affecting mood and blood pressure. To calm your space and help it expand, grab a box or basket and remove anything you don’t use, love or need in a particular space. Be ruthless – you can put an item back later if necessary. Take a before and after picture if you want to help you envision how much freer and more open the space feels when it isn’t weighed down by clutter. This is especially important when your home is on the market. An additional trick used by home stagers, decorators and Realtors is multipurpose furniture, such as an ottoman with storage or a dresser as a hall table with handy drawers to store shoes, mail or anything else that tends to pile up.

Use paint to your advantage. One of the fastest, most affordable ways to update or expand a space is with paint. Dark or saturated colors can make a room feel cozy – sometimes too cozy. Lighter colors help a room feel larger and expand space. Consider pale gray, khaki, white or ivory, soft shades of blue, lavender or green. Almost any color can be found in pale versions that provide interest, but don’t constrict the visual feel of the room. In truly tiny spaces, you may want to stick with solid, neutral tones and opt for texture over pattern. Too much pattern in fabric, paint, art, etc. in a small room can be overwhelming. Save bold pattern for a more spacious room and if you’re selling, replace bold pillows, artwork and accessories in small spaces with softer neutrals to help the buyer envision the space as calm and larger than it actually is.

Are you looking to expand your horizons (or change your location) in a Denver-area home? Call me or drop a line – I’m here to help.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

5 Common Decorating Mistakes

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, it pays to do a bit of home staging before your listing goes live. You can go all out and hire a pro, or you can make a few interior design changes on your own to prepare for a successful home sale.

Rearranging Furniture

The same interior design faux pas that plague the average homeowner are the best places to start when preparing your home’s decor for a sale. The good news is, these issues are easy (and generally inexpensive) to fix.

  1. Furniture pushed up against the walls. Think of your furniture as guests at a party: give each piece room to breathe, but make sure all the furniture is encouraged to mingle. Pull sofas a few inches away from the wall, or even further into the room. Bring chairs closer together and to the coffee table. Dressers, armoires and display cabinets often need to rest against a wall, but seating should center on a coffee table or rug and be arranged to encourage conversation. When everything hugs the wall, you are missing the point of seating groups.
  2. Dinky area rugs. Some interior designers prefer all four legs of a sofa or chair to be planted on a rug. A more relaxed approach is that the front legs on a sofa, loveseat or accent chair sit atop the rug. Most people make the mistake of buying rugs that are too small for the space. If the majority of the seating in a room is not able to sit at least partially on the rug, this is probably the case in your room. If you can’t afford a large enough rug to suit the space and furniture, consider cost effective sisal, having a large carpet remnant bound for the space or removing the rug altogether while your home is on the market.
  3. High water window treatments. Window treatments should break at the floor or even puddle a bit, depending on your personal preference, and they should rise three inches or more above the top of the window frame. Insubstantial window treatments that fall short or are hung exactly at the top of the window frame don’t look chic – they just come across as cheap. Chances are good you can pick up decent neutral draperies in an appropriate length at your local big box store or online. Imagine how great your rooms will look with fresh new (right-sized) curtains when showings begin!
  4. Matchy. Matchy. Matchy. It’s fine to coordinate drapes and accent pillows, or to purchase accent chairs in the same neutral fabric as your sofa. When absolutely everything came from the same two page catalog spread though, a room can feel boring and stale. If this is the case in your bedrooms or living spaces, it’s time to break up that set of linens, drapes, lamps, etc. to breathe fresh life into the space. Try trading the came-with-the-couch pillows for something a little bolder, or replacing one of a pair of lamps with something unique. Bring the chairs that match the couch into another space (maybe beside a bed?) and add two different accent chairs; even dining chairs can work for this purpose and give the space an eclectic feel. Even staged rooms should look and feel lived-in, not straight out of a catalog.
  5. Art hung at crick-neck levels. For whatever reason, most people tend to hang artwork, mirrors, photographs etc. too high, causing the viewer to crane their neck to look up at the picture. The center of the artwork from top to bottom should be at eye level, or 57-58″. If you are guilty of hanging artwork too high, this may feel unnaturally low to you, but it is the right height for hanging. You can measure the distance from the ground up to 58″, then measure the distance from the wire or sawtooth on your pictures from there, or you can eyeball it and aim for hanging any picture, or focal point of a grouping, around that point if you consider yourself average height. If your furniture is particularly low slung, you may even consider hanging your pieces 2-3″ lower to properly accent your seating.

Whether you are buying, selling or weighing your options, I have the experience to guide you successfully through your next real estate transaction. I’d love to hear from you!

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

 

Feng shui 4 Your Home Sale

Feng shui

The Chinese philosophy of Feng shui (which translates to mean “wind-water”) is based on the notion that certain colors, elements and pathways within your home dictate the flow of energy and can impact everything from your personal wealth to your health, love life and career. Whether or not you follow the basic principles of Feng shui in the design or arrangement of your home, many aspects of this philosophy can positively impact your home listing and help increase your home’s appeal to buyers.

Energy enters through the front door. Make sure your entry is clean, clear of all clutter and attractive. Consider painting the front door a bright color that stands out from the house, place a fresh welcome mat in front of the door and place a few plants nearby to give a feeling of life and robust health. Plants with soft, rounded leaves are a better Feng shui bet than cacti or plants with sharp or spiky leaves.

First impressions matter. When buyers first enter your home, they form opinions quickly as to whether your home is worthy of purchase. Offer home shoppers a welcoming embrace with attractive art, an interesting area rug, adequate storage in the closet or elsewhere such as a storage bench or coat pegs. Pack up shoes, coats and sports gear not currently in use so the entry closet has plenty of extra space. If every nook and cranny in the house is stuffed to the gills, buyers will question whether your home has adequate storage space. Give your things room to breathe so buyers can breathe easily, too.

Don’t drain your home’s energy! One important principle of Feng shui is the notion that drains – in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, bathtub, shower, etc. – can literally deplete a home of energy. Keep toilet lids down and drains plugged when not in use. If a half bath is near the entry of your home, close the door before showings. Buyers will open the door to take a peek as they tour your home, but you don’t want the W.C. to be the first room they encounter in your home.

Arrange seating to maximize “chi” energy flow. Chi, or the inherent energy flowing through and around a room, can be improved or stunted based on the arrangement of your furniture, according to Feng shui. Arrange your sofa and other furnishings toward the entrance of the room, and pull them into a comfortable arrangement encouraging conversation. Don’t put the back of a sofa toward the entrance, which bounces energy back out of the room and may give off a cold, unwelcoming feel.

Kick clutter to the curb for improved energy flow. Imagine clean kitchen counters free of knick knacks, tidy bedrooms with empty dresser-tops and walls with enough negative space to enjoy the artwork in place rather than family photos cluttering every inch of the wall. Decluttering makes sense when your home is on the market, and an abundance of clutter-free space within your home will improve the flow of energy throughout your spaces as well.

Don’t place beds or dressers in front of a window or blocking a doorway or natural pathway through the room. Don’t place beds against a wall with a door in it at all if you can avoid that. Doorways are intense energy pathways from one place to another, and placing the head of your bed near a doorway, or on a wall sharing a doorway, can prevent you from achieving the best rest possible and give buyers a restless feeling as they envision themselves in the master bedroom or their children or guests in other rooms.

Consider appealing to the buyer’s senses with calming background music, pleasant smelling fresh flowers or live plants, a small tabletop fountain or wind chimes placed on the front right corner of your home. You can find many specific tips for including Feng shui elements in your home on Pinterest or by searching Google or other sites for the topic.

If you are considering a home sale or purchase and need a guide in our busy marketplace, give me a call. I’ve been helping people like you buy and sell Denver area homes for over 21 years, and it would be my pleasure to put this experience to work for you.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate