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Paint FanOne of my favorite things about being in real estate is looking at houses. I’m mad about architecture, color, design, shape and style. I love staging that brings out the best features in the home while keeping it homey. Watching home improvement shows, HGTV, and all that real estate porn… I must admit, excites me. And when January rolls around and the color wizards announce the nominees, I feel as dizzy as an ingenue on Oscar morning.
On any given power-shopping Saturday, I can take buyers to look at five to fifteen properties. After house number 10, you’re beginning to feel a sense of overwhelm and the ‘buyer’s blur’, as each house starts to blend into the next. As the day progresses, the copious notes you started out taking become chicken scratches or a simple “NO!” until you get to my favorite place… walk in, walk out.
At the beginning of a house hunt, we feel the need to take the time to visualize ourselves in the home, our colors on the wall and grandma’s hutch in the dining room. Once you get the “Blur” it’s like triage, you identify what’s wrong quickly and assess if you can fix it or if you have to move on.
So sellers, what is it that buyers are responding to? First off I’d say CLEAN. And I mean clean to the point that a team of pros came in and scrubbed every corner with a toothbrush! Even an old house will look new when it’s sparkling clean. It inspires trust, helps us believe you’ve taken good care of your home. And by all means DECLUTTER. I know you’ve heard this before, from me and a thousand other HGTV Realtors, because we’re right. We’re the ones in the house when you’ve left for the showing and we hear EVERYTHING. When I say declutter, I don’t mean get rid of those things you’ve been planning to take to the Goodwill, I mean take all that to the Goodwill and then come home and pack up half of what you own!
Now comes the good part; UPDATE! The new 2013 colors are out and they are sensational. Spend some time browsing around to see if there’s something that speaks to you. If you’re prepping to sell (and right now you should be), look at the new neutrals, look at the latest accent colors and see if there’s something you can do to make your home feel au currant. You’re going to have to break out the paint brush, may as well add some pop! A word of caution though, if you’re not comfortable taking the lead on this bring in a color consultant or a stager for a professional eye. It can make a big difference in how much your home sells for and how quickly it sells.
The Denver market has changed. Home prices are up a stout 7% but that doesn’t mean you can just plant a sign in the yard and ask top dollar. If you want the most for your home, put the most into it. I guarantee you, that’s what your neighbor’s doing.
So… I guess it’s time to start moving on moving.

It’s late October in a very tight presidential race. Pols shift twice in the same day and the election is coming down to swing states and undecided voters, though I’m not sure exactly who these people are. The issue is not that the Democrats and Republicans have successfully laid out their vision for the next 4 (or 8) years, because neither of them has been too clear on that, or that I don’t think it’s really important and has a profound impact on my future, because it does. I know. It does. The issue is… I can’t decide. Really?
I consider myself decisive and spontaneous in general, but I am slow and deliberate when it comes to making the big decisions, gathering all available information and trying on perspective outcomes in the dressing room of my mind. When weighing out the cost/benefit ratio of a situation, what is it that makes one finally take a stand, or take action?
The word ‘SALE’ has some power over me, at least it gets my interest. Once piqued I am swirling through the— Do I need it? Do I want it? Does it solve a problem? Is it cheap enough?— cycle until either I buy or walk away. Even when that “One Day Only!” sale fills me with a sense of urgency, I know I can always come back…like to next month’s “One Day Only!” sale.
So what about the big things? Deciding on a president or buying a house? (You knew I’d go there)
I have binders full of buyers, debating over whether or not its time to get off the fence. Right now Denver Colorado is in the top five cities leading the housing market recovery. Home prices are rising steadily, foreclosures are in decline, inventory is low, the home affordability index is high and the money’s on sale. What questions do you need to ask yourself before you take the leap?
Beyond the “One Day Only!” hype, buyers who’ve waited for the market to hit bottom (so two years ago) have a sense of urgency to make a good investment before the window of opportunity closes. With the release of pent up demand (sounds very “Fifty Shades of Grey”, doesn’t it?) sellers who’ve waited out the storm have built back some lost equity and are feeling more confident their home will fetch a fair and decent price. There are more bidding wars and high-demand neighborhoods than I’ve seen in five or six years and that feels good. The crush of summer housing sales gives way to autumn when the market slows a bit, leaving the serious buyers and sellers. Its a very efficient time for me as a real estate agent, often producing my best quarter.
I know home ownership is not for everyone, nor is real estate investing, but when you’re in an historical sweet spot to buy and hold real estate, it may be time to make a decision before you turn into a pumpkin. As for that voting thing… oh, I’m not goin’ there.