Today's real estate market is fast and furious, especially in Aspen. Often times, the Aspen market presents low inventory with high demand - leading many local property owners to think that their home will sell very quickly. While this is often the case, especially when the seller hires a professional Aspen broker, there are a few important must-do items to ensure a quick, smooth property sale. This week, our blog team takes a closer look at what today's real estate seller needs to know. We will present a few tips to sell successfully in the Aspen market, and squash a few misconceptions along the way.
WHEN TO SELL
Just like any market, there are great times to sell in the Aspen market - and there are not so good times. But generally speaking, the Aspen market is strong and has recovered strongly from the most recent Recession. Since the town thrives on two separate seasons, summer and winter, there are two great opportunities per year to feature a for-sale property. The summer months run from early June through mid-October, while the winter is from opening ski weekend in November through late April. Both seasons offer a prime opportunity to market a property to current Aspen residents as well as a large number of Aspen visitors who dream of one day owning a property in town. A knowledgeable Aspen realtor should be able to give you both the pros and cons of each season.
HIRE A REALTOR
Hiring the right local Aspen realtor to handle your real estate transaction is of the utmost importance. All real estate agents are NOT the same. As a seller, you should have high expectations of the realtor you hire to sell your home. Each broker possesses a different set of skills, so take the time to ask questions to make sure you're getting everything you need. Remember that there is no guarantee that choosing the top producing realtor or company will be the right one for you. A qualified local Aspen realtor should be able to assist you with a number of items moving forward. This can include preparing your property or home for sale; establishing a selling price; gathering information, paperwork and documents related to the listing; inspections; staging and open houses.
PREPARING YOUR HOME OR PROPERTY
There are several things that need to be looked at in closer detail before selling your home. Ask a potential realtor to walk-through your home and recommend items that should be repaired or replaced. This could include painting, new carpet, de-cluttering, new furniture or appliances, plumbing or heating updates, or landscaping. Remember that small renovations or improvements can result in big bucks later. Taking the extra time to prep your home for sale can dramatically raise the closing price. Ask your realtor to create a punch list of items to assist you. Work with your realtor to hire a professional home inspector to have a look at your property. Remember, a good home inspector should find some issues with the home they are inspecting - even with new construction. If they find no issues, it may be worth having a second home inspector have a look. You don't want a minor (or major) detail to slip through the cracks. A seasoned home inspector should be able to provide you with a detailed report and related photos. A home inspector should perform several tests at your property, which could include:
- Radon testing
- Chimney inspection
- Septic tank
THE MARKET SETS THE PRICE
Many sellers think their home is above the price that the market dictates. Often times, sentimental values translates into an inflated sense of the home's worth. When selling, it's important to take into account the competition when effectively pricing your property. It is important to determine how much you feel the property is worth after learning about the competition as well as consulting with your realtor. Remember, hiring a realtor because they suggest the highest selling price (or because they offered the lowest commission) can be a big mistake. Buyers have an abundance of information at their fingertips, and will probably know if your property is overpriced. Pricing your property correctly from the beginning can make all the difference.
Any realtor worth their sale will know what should be included in the information for the sale property. This data includes the major mechanics of the home, as well as any updates that have been made. Having as much paperwork on the following items can be very useful in the listing and selling process:
- Outstanding mortgage balance
- Roofing details and warranty information
- Furnace/central air conditioning units
- Hot water heater info
- Kitchen and household appliances info
- Dates for home improvements such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, carpets and window installations
- Any associated compliance permits for decks, sheds, fences, etc.
- Hot tub information (if applicable)