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Denver Real Estate | Cost of Selling a Home

cost of selling your home-01

Whether you’re getting ready to move into a larger house or wish to downsize, the process of selling your home can be daunting. From decluttering to necessary repairs to determining the equity you’ll gain from the sale, it can be an unsettling time.

But it doesn’t have to be!

It’s important to sit with your real estate agent and establish a plan of attack before listing your home. A knowledgeable agent will be able to guide you through the process to alleviate any surprises along the way.

Jenny Usaj, Employing Broker at Usaj Realty, provides her insight on some of the key items that will have to be addressed during the sales process.

Question: In regards to real estate commission, is the going rate still 5-6%? Is this negotiable? What about when you're dealing with a multi-million dollar property? Does the rate go down? What does the home seller get in return?

Answer: Commissions are always negotiable and you often get what you pay for. Every broker provides different services and with multi-million dollar homes, a seller needs specialized services. Luxury listings require the broker to take on more responsibility, marketing expenses, and specialized attention for appointment-only tours. Additionally, the broker should be providing the highest level of service, and conversely, be prepared for the highest level of liability. Luxury listings require a higher level of sophistication and customer service. Real estate is often the most important asset someone owns.

Sellers should expect a custom marketing plan, guided tours for each potential buyer, and weekly reports on what they are hearing in terms of feedback and the marketing strategy.

Question: Whether prior to listing a home or as a result of the home inspection, home sellers are concerned about the cost of home repairs. Of course, it's best to have everything in working order. How are big-ticket items dealt with, like a roof replacement? Is the owner on the hook or is it split with the home buyer? What are the minimum "improvements" the homeowner should make (i.e. paint, cleaning, etc)?

Answer: A "top dollar" sale is awarded to the home in tip-top shape! If you have the ability to potentially make an insurance claim to get the roof replaced or have the cash to make the repairs, you will financially win in the long run. It’s best to keep up with maintenance over time; if there is deferred maintenance, be prepared to discount the repair costs from the listing price or make other arrangements for the work.

At a minimum make sure your home is clean and create an environment that invites the person to see themselves calling the house “their home.” Think of how a hotel room looks when you arrive; not too much furniture, no personal photos, awards, or specific art.  It is all plain, simple, and a little boring to be honest. The goal is to have the potential buyer appreciate the space and the home itself - not your signed Bronco helmet or the painting you bought on your last trip to Europe (even though I would love to hear about both).

Question: What is the cost range of home staging services? What all will the home stager do (minimum and maximum examples)?

Answer: Home staging can be a great value. HGTV has increased the expectations of all homebuyers in all price ranges. When a home is staged, a designer comes in and helps arrange your own furniture or brings in new furniture. Stagers have a trained eye to help create the most welcoming space that will show off your home in the best way while working with your floor plan.  

While it may not be your personal style, stagers help a home sell. No one lives in a home the way as it’s staged. Let's be honest, when is the last time you finished breakfast and then reset the table for dinner? Keeping the interior clutter-free and simple; yet creating a cozy, inviting “stage” can turn a moderately interested buyer into one ready to make an offer.

The cost for these services ranges based on the number of rooms you want to be staged and the logistics needed (for example if there are stairs, elevators, tight spaces). The quality of furniture also affects the cost.

Question: In addition to the mortgage payoff, what other “debits” should the home seller anticipate before closing?

Answer: If you have a HELOC on the home, any HOA liens, and title insurance owner's extended coverage must all be paid off at closing. Depending on your property, other fees may apply.

Question: Denver’s real estate market is still competitive, favoring the home seller. As a result, are closing costs still being picked up by the buyer?

Answer: When the real estate market ultimately shifts, the seller will most likely go back to paying for some of these fees.  Everything in real estate is negotiable. Right now buyers have been paying closing costs to make their offer most competitive.

Contact Usaj Realty

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