Selling your home fast in Colorado
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Considering selling your home in Colorado? If you’re not in a hurry, there’s great news: The median sale price for a single-family home here was $565,000 in April of 2023, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors. That’s nearly $190,000 more than the national median of $375,700, which should translate to higher-than-average profits.
But what if you want to sell quickly? That’s the bad news: Homes are now spending about double the amount of time on the market as they did this time last year. Read on for tips on how to sell your Colorado home — fast.
How fast can you sell your Colorado home?
Homes here are selling for a good price, and demand is still high: April had just a 1.7-month supply of available inventory, which is far below the 5 to 6 months a balanced market requires. However, as is the case in many places across the country, homes are not getting snapped up nearly as quickly as they were a year ago. Colorado’s average time on market for April was 47 days, compared to just 24 in April 2022.
“While homes may be on the market longer, it’s still a seller’s market with low inventory, which will prevent a significant overall drop in housing prices,” says Christine Dupont-Patz, a Realtor with RE/MAX of Cherry Creek in Denver. Other factors drive how long a home sits on the market, too: “Location, condition and price point really play into how many days a listing will remain on the MLS,” she says. “For example, while the average days on the market for March 2023 was 56, in the Denver Metro area it was only 37 days.”
Need to sell faster?
If you can’t wait that long, you have other choices. Here are some faster alternatives to a traditional sale:
- iBuyers: The “i” in iBuying stands for instant. Simply enter your address online, and companies like Offerpad and Opendoor will provide you with a quick cash offer — both operate in multiple Colorado markets. However, keep in mind that the amount you receive will most likely be less than what you would earn through a traditional sale.
- Cash homebuyers: Many other local and national companies buy houses for cash, and they also operate very quickly. But like iBuyers, these companies typically offer lower purchase prices (so they can fix-and-flip the property for a profit).
- Selling as-is: By listing your property as-is, you are informing buyers that you are not willing to engage in protracted negotiations about what to repair: What they get is what they see. As a result, as-is sales can move faster than more typical transactions.
Preparing to sell your Colorado home
If you opt for a traditional sale, there are several vital questions to consider before you’ll be ready to list.
Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
Undertaking significant upgrades requires a considerable amount of time and money, and most projects will not yield a full return on investment when it’s time to sell. So major renovations, like a full kitchen remodel, are probably not worth it. Instead, try making quick improvements that can increase the appeal of your home more cost-effectively.
What should you repair before selling your home?
In some cases, it’s best to address a problem before putting your home on display. Prioritize anything obvious that you would want to be repaired if you were the one purchasing the property. However, not everything will need to be fixed. Consult with your real estate agent to determine what’s worth doing, and what can be left to the buyer to take care of. If you really want to be proactive, conducting a pre-listing inspection can help you identify any significant issues ahead of time, which may help speed things along with buyers later.
Should you pay to stage your home?
In real estate, first impressions are paramount, and enlisting the services of a professional home stager can be likened to dressing your home in its finest attire to capture the attention of potential buyers. The cost will depend on the extent of the services needed: A bit of decluttering and reorganizing will be cheaper than, say, long-term furniture rental to outfit an empty room. Your agent can help you determine whether home staging will be worthwhile for you.
When should you list, and for how much?
The ideal time to list a home is whenever it is likely to sell the fastest. According to Redfin data, that time in Colorado is spring and early summer: The state’s lowest number of days on market historically occur around April, May and June. Home prices have historically peaked around April as well.
Your real estate agent can provide valuable insights regarding the appropriate listing price for your property. Agents will look at the recent comps in your area and prepare a detailed comparative market analysis that will help you establish the most effective pricing strategy.
What do you need to disclose?
All Colorado home sellers must complete the state’s seller disclosure form. This document is a comprehensive overview of everything you know about your property that could impact its value or safety, and it’s crucial to be transparent about any previous issues or defects. For instance, if your roof suffered damage from a blizzard three years ago and required repair, you must document it in the form.
You’ll also need to complete a green disclosure form, which outlines a home’s energy efficiency. In addition, if your property is part of a homeowner’s association, you will need to furnish documents detailing the association’s financial condition.
What to expect at the closing
Selling a home isn’t all profit: It’s important to consider closing costs. As the seller, one of your biggest expenses will be the commission paid to the real estate agents involved in the sale. The typical commission in Colorado totals about 6 percent of the sale price, says Susan Chong, principal broker of Iconique Real Estate in Denver. “We typically see 2.8 percent paid to the buyer’s agent and 3.2 percent paid to the listing brokerage,” she says. On a median-priced $565,000, 6 percent comes to $33,900. Here are some other closing costs for sellers to budget for:
- Title insurance: This expense usually falls on the seller’s shoulders in Colorado. The amount will depend on the sale price and location of the home. Per the Stewart Title Guaranty Company, on a $500,000 Denver home, an owner’s policy would run around $2,000.
- Real estate transfer tax: Like many states, Colorado levies a transfer tax to transfer the ownership of a home — typically it’s the buyer who covers this cost, but not always.
- Escrow fees: As a seller in Colorado, you may need to pay for escrow services to manage the funds during the transaction.
- Concessions: If the buyer’s inspection revealed issues with the property, they might ask for a discount on the price or request that you cover the cost of repairs. You don’t have to agree to concessions, but doing so can keep the deal moving along without delays.
Attorney fees: Colorado law does not mandate that you hire an attorney to sell your home, but it is still a smart move. Real estate contracts are complex, and you’ll be signing a lot of legal documents at closing — a lawyer’s expertise provides peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly.
If you’re ready to start the process of selling your house, decide whether you want a traditional sale or an iBuyer/homebuying company. If the latter is your preference, start researching companies online — and read the fine print very carefully.
For a traditional sale, start the process of finding an agent. See if anyone you know can offer recommendations of agents they’ve enjoyed working with, and if any similar homes in your neighborhood are currently for sale, check out the agents who are representing those listings. An agent who already knows your specific area well can bring more expertise to the table for you. Interview several candidates to find the right fit. With the aid of an experienced real estate agent, you can develop a compelling pricing and marketing plan that will get your home sold as fast as possible, and for the best price.
The average number of days Colorado homes spend on the market before selling is currently 47, which is double the rate from a year ago, per the Colorado Association of Realtors. But you can sell much quicker if you choose to sell to a homebuying company or an iBuyer — both Opendoor and Offerpad operate in Colorado.
One important piece of selling your home in Colorado is making sure you are legally compliant with the state’s disclosure obligations. You’ll need to complete a seller’s property disclosure form that lists all your knowledge about any defects with the home. You will also need to complete a green energy disclosure form, which shares information about energy efficiencies (or lack thereof) in the home. In addition, it’s smart to work with an experienced local real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of the Colorado market.
No, Colorado does not require buyers or sellers to hire a real estate attorney. However, you should strongly consider working with one anyway: There’s a lot of money at stake, and professional legal help in sorting through the details will make sure you are protected in the deal.