If you’re thinking about selling your home in Colorado, you are in a good position. So far in 2022, houses and condos in the Centennial State have been selling for around 3.7 percent over their initial asking price, according to data from the Colorado Association of Realtors — a signal that the state’s real estate market is hot. However, putting your home up for sale doesn’t automatically mean you will score a big profit. Use this guide to understand when to list, how to attract more buyers and what to expect from the entire process.
Preparing to sell
Before you start thinking about how much you can make from a sale, consider whether you’re actually ready to part ways with your current home. There is an emotional connection, so you’ll need to make sure you are OK with leaving the place where you have spent so much time. There are also serious financial considerations, especially if you’re trying to sell your house while buying another. If you’ve thought about it and are ready to sell your house, it’s time to answer three important questions about the property.
1. Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
Major upgrades or renovations take a lot of time and cost a lot of money, and the vast majority of projects do not recoup their full price tag when it’s time to sell. So it’s probably not worth remodeling the entire kitchen or building out a new home office before you list the home. It’s still wise to consider quick or inexpensive improvements, though, that can add value to your home without too much outlay.
2. What should you repair before selling your home?
Think about it this way: You should consider fixing anything that you would want to be repaired if you were buying the home. For example, if an insanely windy Colorado day damaged your outdoor deck, you may want to address that before showing the home. Additionally, think about issues that may be lurking beneath the surface. A pre-listing inspection can help you get out ahead of any major problems before they are found by a buyer.
3. Should you pay to stage your home?
You might also think about investing in a professional home staging service — like dressing your house up in its best evening gown to turn every buyer’s head. The cost of home staging varies depending on whether you need minor sprucing up or more complex services, like long-term furniture rental, but it can be money well spent. First impressions are a critical piece of the real estate game, and a well-staged home can make someone looking for a new house in Colorado feel right at home.
When is the best time to sell a house in Colorado?
In any market, the best time to sell a house is whenever it is likely to sell the fastest. Historical data of home sales in Colorado reveal that June and July are the most promising months for sellers. Per Colorado Association of Realtors data, over the past two years, homes have spent an average of just 22 days on the market during these months.
Finding a Colorado real estate agent
As you try to figure out the best time to list your house in Colorado, it’s wise to have a local expert on your side. With the right real estate agent, you will be able to craft an effective promotional strategy that gets your listing in front of the right kind of buyers. Of course, you’ll have to pay real estate commissions — typically 3 percent to your agent and 3 percent to the buyer’s — but that fee tends to be well worth it. Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that agent-assisted sales command around 18 percent more than FSBO, or for sale by owner, listings.
Price your home competitively
Your agent will have a good sense of the price tag you should attach to your initial listing. You can start with getting a clear picture of how much your house is worth. Your house’s valuation is ultimately up to the market, though, so, look at comps in your town and in your neighborhood to get a sense of what similar homes nearby are selling for. The best route to an effective pricing strategy is to see what similar properties have sold for very recently, say in the past 30 to 90 days.
Documents and disclosures in Colorado
As your real estate agent does his or her work, you have your own important job to do: You need to complete your Colorado state seller’s disclosure form. It’s a thorough look at everything you know about the property that could impact its value, and you should be honest about any past issues or defects. Did a blizzard three years ago cause roof damage that needed to be fixed? You’ll need to document it here.
Additionally, Colorado sellers must complete a separate green disclosure form, which outlines all the details about a home’s energy efficiency (or lack thereof). And finally, if your home is part of a homeowners’ association, you will need to share documents about the association’s financial health and any potential for special assessments on the horizon.
Need to sell your Colorado home fast?
Don’t feel like waiting around for a traditional sale — or can’t afford to? You’ve got options. Here are four speedy ways to sell your house in Colorado.
- iBuyers: The “i” in iBuying stands for instant. Enter your address online, and companies like Offerpad and Knock will make you an offer, often within 24 hours. Be aware, though: iBuying offers quick cash, but it will likely be a lower amount than you would make with a traditional sale.
- Cash deals: If your house is in poor condition, or you simply need the cash ASAP, you may want to look into companies that buy houses for cash. While individual buyers might see your house as a money pit with too much to repair, many real estate investors will view it as a fix-and-flip opportunity.
- Selling as-is: When you list your home as-is, you are declaring to anyone interested in the property that you aren’t willing to make concessions or engage in back-and-forth negotiations. Therefore, as-is sales sidestep many of the lengthy delays that can occur with other sales.
- Upping the curb appeal: Clean the windows, repaint the front door, install a new mailbox — there are quite a few ways to add quick curb appeal to any home. First impressions matter, and a welcoming-looking home can be a fast track to an offer.
What to expect at the closing
Costs of selling a home in Colorado
The most crucial piece of the closing process is understanding how much it’s going to cost you. The buyer might be paying for the home, but you’re going to need to open your wallet, too. The biggest expense will be paying the real estate agents involved in the transaction. While commissions have been falling recently, the standard payout is 3 percent to your agent and 3 percent to the buyer’s agent. So, if your home sells for $700,000, that’s $42,000 in Realtor fees.
Seller’s closing costs
- Title insurance: Title insurance falls on the seller’s shoulders in Colorado. This cost depends on the sale price and the location of the home. For example, if you need to pay for a title policy that covers around $500,000, you will likely pay somewhere between $1,500 and $1,900, according to rates from the Stewart Title Guaranty Company.
- Transfer taxes: Colorado levies a real estate transfer tax to cover the cost of transferring ownership in the county’s or city’s records. But you’re in luck: The buyer typically covers these, so sellers don’t have to budget for this expense.
- Escrow fees: Sellers in Colorado may need to shell out some money for escrow fees, which cover the cost of managing the funds in the transaction. This expense will vary, and you can likely split it with the buyer.
- Seller concessions: If the buyer’s inspection uncovers problems, they might request a discounted price to help cover a portion of their closing costs. You don’t have to say yes, though — do the math and discuss with your agent to determine whether to offer concessions, and if so, how much.
- Attorney fees: You are not required to have a real estate attorney to sell a home in Colorado. But you should still consider hiring one: You’ll be signing a lot of paperwork, and a lawyer will read it all, look out for your interests and alert you to any issues.
Take the first step
Ready to get moving on actually moving? Start by interviewing a few different local real estate agents — preferably some that have come with high recommendations from friends or family. Be sure to ask them these important questions about how they will work to sell your house.