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Selling a Home or Condo in Colorado

The Listing Agent & Effectively Marketing Your House

A Listing Agent’s True Role
Although real estate agents do indeed work with both buyers and sellers, the majority of them tend to concentrate more on either buyers or sellers. They specialize. When you bought your home, you probably worked with a buyer’s agent, or sometimes called a selling agent. In general, most people think of buyer’s agents when they picture an agent in their minds. This is largely because of the image that has been created through advertising and marketing by agents themselves. Consequently, most homeowners expect their listing agent to perform the same duties that a buyer’s agent does. They expect that agent to find a buyer to purchase their home. In the end, they do the things you would expect if they were searching for buyers. A sign goes up in the front yard. Ads are placed in the local newspaper and real estate magazines. Your REALTOR holds an open house on the weekend. Your house is proudly marketed on various websites. But this is only a part of the marketing. More important things are going on that is not apparent to most. After the papers are signed on the listing agreement and the "for sale" sign goes up and flyers are printed, your listing agent’s main job is to market your home primarily to other agents, not directly to homebuyers.

 The “For Sale” Sign

Pretty much everyone knows that when you put your house up for sale, your REALTOR will put a "for sale" sign in your front yard. The sign is required by law to identify the listing agent’s specific company and have a phone number and probably a website so prospective home buyers can call and get more information on your house for sale. Signs are great for generating phone calls, and your agent will be able to qualify a potential buyer for your home after speaking with them for a couple minutes. You want someone to answer the phone while the buyer is interested and they might even be outside on their cell phone or using the Internet access on their phone to get more information. Going to a live person who can answer questions immediately and is knowledgeable about real estate is key. If you are fortunate, they will want to see the inside of your home for sale.

Brochure Box, Flyers & Lockbox

Your REALTOR will create a marketing flyer that displays a photo or two and provides general information about your property. There definitely will be a phone number and email address for your listing agent so that buyers can contact someone to get additional information. The flyers should be displayed in a prominent location in your home as well as in a brochure box attached to the "for sale" sign in your front yard.

The brochure box is a great thing to have available for those buyers who drive by and just happen to see the "for sale" sign in the front yard. When it is filled with flyers it provides enough information so potential home buyers can determine if they want to follow up with a phone call or even inform their buyer’s agent that they are interested in your house.

Having the lockbox on the front door, or somewhere nearby will make it possible for any buyer to view your home with a private showing with their agent, or if they do not have a buyer’s agent, your listing agent can show your house to them. Typically, showing services provide the information for agents and make it possible for a showing appointment to be set.

Marketing Your Home To Other Agents

The Denver Metrolist Multiple Listing Service Right after the sign is in the yard and the marketing flyers are ready, your real estate agent should list your property with the Denver MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The MLS is a compiled database of all the properties listed by local Denver and surrounding area real estate agents who have membership to the service, which is practically all of the agents in the Denver front range. Important data is input by all listing agents on properties, from general information such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the square footage to such property details as whether your home has a fireplace or a Jack & Jill bathroom. There should be a picture of the home, and a short verbal description, or remarks, of what makes your home for sale unique. Local REALTORS search the MLS database for homes that fit the price range and needs of their buyers. If a home buyer is having difficulty finding a home that is a good fit for them then their agent will focus their efforts on properties for sale that have been recently listed on the market, which is one reason why you get a lot of attention when your house is first listed. Quite often real estate agents want to preview homes for sale before they show it to their buyers.

What is great about having your house listed in the MLS is that you expand your sales power by the number of local MLS members. Instead of having just one REALTOR working on selling your house, now you may have hundreds or more, considering the number of neighborhoods in the Denver metropolitan area. The listing agent’s primary duty is to put your home on the market to agents who have clients looking for homes in the neighborhood you live in. When REALTORS know about your house, when they find it in the Denver Multiple Listing Service, they will show it. Broker previews in the form of a caravan or broker open house and advertising targeted toward agents who have homebuyers is the goal.

Caravan Previews

As an agent belonging to Keller Williams I know of a great program that will give some exposure to your home for sale. An "office preview" will give your home some really good exposure to other agents working in the same office. In effect, by previewing homes they get a "head start" on selling those properties. Once a week, the office’s real estate agents will gather at their office, carpool, and "caravan" to all of the new listings. Generally these REALTORS pull up in front of your house at about the same time then tour quickly through your house for sale in Broomfield like some bizarre ritual. They go through very quickly, since most of the agents are familiar with the market and the inventory and what the conditions are throughout the area. They are usually looking for something different that will appeal to their clients and so they would be proud to show their home buyers. Then they all pile back into their vehicles and travel on to the next home on the caravan. And some of these agents return to your home with a qualified home buyer!

Broker Open House

A broker open house is a preview of your listed home and is very similar to a office caravan, except it is open to all members of Denver Metrolist and it usually is scheduled right at the time your home is listed for sale on the market. However, there are lots of new listings to choose from, and not all the agents preview all the new listings each week. You may not get as many local REALTORS visiting your home as there were on the office caravan. What makes this marketing work is a very simple offer of food and refreshments at the broker open house. Preparing enticing foods that are served to the agents previewing your home is a great way to entice them to attend. It makes sense that you are more likely to get more visitors if you offer culinary treats, and I recommend you get with your agent and work on some creative ideas that will drive some interest to other agents to show your home to their buyer clients. Generic and simple food does not accomplish much in getting anyone there. So be original and creative. If you would like to try this, help your agent set this up and be original in what you serve. If you want to help your agent sell your home quickly, try and help them be creative and original in the choice of a culinary treat. This can really work. As REALTORS munch and network, the hope is they will admire your home enough to show it. Keep in mind that it is almost always an agent showing your home that sells it!

Using Advertising Flyers Effectively

Your listing agent will prepare flyers about your home so that any interested home buyers can gather information about all the details that make your home attractive in their eyes. A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way of grabbing attention in a very busy marketplace. So what can you do to make your flyer stand out in the crowd? Start by getting the best pictures you can of your house, both inside and outside. Have your REALTOR put together a striking visual arrangement with either one large picture, or several combined photographs that show your home well. Use a snappy title that is catchy and powerful. Simple is best. Keep it short and to the point. Break up paragraph descriptions with bullet points and make the flyer easy to read. These ad flyers should also be sent to all the Denver area real estate offices, too. Delivery to other agents is a great way to increase showings to your home.

There are some great online “electronic flyer” services as well that can get your house some exposure to other agents. The flyer should be done professionally and be focused on what you are looking to say about your home and why it would be desireable for someone to live. Ask your agent to show you copies of office flyers they have done in the past. Your agent does not have to reinvent the wheel when they create your flyer. Follow some of these guidelines and you will see big results in your marketing efforts.

Marketing Announcements

Your agent probably belongs to both a company office and a local community association of real estate agents who will often have meetings at least once a month. At these meetings there is often a "marketing announcement" where some agents stand up and tell about their new listings and other agents stand up and tell about their buyer’s needs. Your listing agent has a great opportunity to put in an announcement of your house for sale at these meetings. These are some of the ways that a listing agent works on marketing your home to other agents with buyers who want to buy in your area.

Marketing Your House To Homebuyers

The Purpose of Advertising in General
Advertising properties with newspaper ads or on the Internet can be effective for many reasons. This kind of advertising can be large display ads with lots of listings or small classified ads featuring just your home for sale. Ads may also appear in local real estate magazines such as Homes & Land and of course your listing will also show up on the internet. As mentioned earlier, electronic flyers can be quite effective. Almost every home buyer who has an Internet connection starts out searching for homes online. Statistics tell us that more than nine out of every 10 home buyers are looking on the Internet, and they are checking out competing inventory if they are selling and they are putting together lists of homes they want to see if they are buying.

Because you don't know exactly which website a home buyer might check, property listings should be posted everywhere. This includes Craigslist, Backpage, and any other place your agent can post an ad for your home. Keep in mind that price is the most important element in selling a home. Call us at Homewerks and we will be able to help you in pricing your home for sale so that it is “in the market.” One thing about marketing: both REALTORS and their respective companies will run ads featuring your house, but not for the reasons you might expect. Advertising is not focused on selling your home only. All advertising creates phone calls from interested buyers and some of those callers become buyers of the agents answering the calls. This builds up a base of homebuyers looking for property in general who are now represented by real estate professionals. Multiply this by all the agents and companies who also advertise homes, and there is a large pool of homebuyers searching in the market at any given time – all of whom are represented by REALTORS. The agents representing those homebuyers know about your home because it is listed in the Denver Multiple Listing Service, has been on office caravan and broker preview through open house, and because your agent may have also sent flyers to all the local real estate offices.

Real estate agents are able to supply their buyers with more information and more accurate data than what these buyers are seeing online. Quite often the homes on the Internet are already sold or they are under contract, and for this reason, the average person does not know if the information they are browsing on the web is current or accurate enough. The agents first provide accurate information from Denver Metrolist on the homes their buyer is interested in, then they match up their clients with available homes, one of which may be yours. Then they show the homes to those clients, who eventually make an offer to buy one. This is how houses get sold in the Denver market, and just about everywhere else. Ads create a pool of home buyers, one of which purchases your home. Advertising does not usually sell your house directly.

Real Estate Office Advertising

As we just discussed, advertising your home in newspapers and magazines rarely sells your house directly. Almost always, the buyer who eventually purchases your home will have called on a totally different house to start. The same thing happens with buyers who call the listing agent or company office on your house. They will probably buy something else when they are ready willing and able. You still want to be ensured that your real estate company selling your house runs ads in both the local and regional newspapers, whether they focus on your house directly or not. If you list your home with a Keller Williams real estate office, ads generate phone calls to the agents working on floor duty, meaning they answer the phone and give information to interested home buyers. If they viewed your house on the office preview, they will be very familiar with it. This is one way your property is sold. Sometimes someone calling on your house may actually make an offer on it and end up buying it!

Just like listing agents, when real estate offices advertise the homes they have for sale there is more than one objective. Sure, the real estate offices and companies want to generate phone calls of interested home buyers and home sellers, but great advertising also shows home sellers how effectively they market properties. This impresses not only you, but other home owners in the neighborhood who may be thinking of selling their home in Broomfield CO.

The advertising brings in more property listings, which generate more calls, which produces more home buyers…and that is how real estate advertising functions in the big picture of real estate.

Individual Agent Advertising

Individual real estate agents may advertise your home for the same reasons as companies do. They usually advertise in classified ads or in specialty magazines featuring houses available for sale. As in other types of advertising, these ads rarely sell your home. Once again, the main goals of advertising are to accumulate homebuyers as clients, and to impress you and future home sellers with how well they market their listings. Some agents actually do sell their own listings, but not that all that often.

It is much more productive and beneficial if your listing agent directs most of his or her marketing efforts toward other agents. Since this is "behind the scenes" marketing that you don’t actually see, it is often difficult for you to measure how hard the agent is working for you. It is a mistake to measure your agent’s effectiveness solely by counting the number of newspaper and magazine ads featuring your property. Especially with the use of the Internet resources such as Craigslist and all the other website possibilities.

Neighborhood Announcements

When you first list your home many agents send "announcements" to all of the other houses in your neighborhood. This can be done in the form of postcards, a mailed letter, or flyers left hanging on the resident’s front doors. These are important because your neighbors might have friends who are looking to buy a house in the area. The announcements create "word of mouth" advertising, which is the best kind. Nothing is more effective than someone you know telling you about a great deal they saw, or even in conversation lots of people will bring up news in their neighborhood.

Open Houses in Broomfield

Holding an open house when your home is first placed on the market in Broomfield can be very important, but not for the reasons most homeowners think. Just like with advertising, most visitors to open houses rarely buy the property they come to look at. The majority of home buyers may not even know the price of your home when they stop by to visit – they probably just followed an "Open House" sign to your house. Quite a few people will look at houses for sale this way. Just like the neighborhood announcements open houses work very similarly – it lets all of your neighbors know that your house is for sale, and now they have an invitation to come "take a look." Many agents serve snacks and provide information about sold homes in the area, and they should have a knowledge of the available homes for sale in the adjacent neighborhoods that they can provide to visitors. A lot of your neighbors will take advantage of the invitation. And what can happen is they may tell their friends about your house, creating more "word of mouth" advertising.

Of course, there are other reasons for holding open houses, too. Listing agents who "farm" a particular neighborhood use them as an opportunity to meet with other local homeowners who will someday be selling their home. Your agent may hope to list their homes in the future. Open houses held after your home has been on the market awhile do not usually serve a useful purpose in selling your home. Most of the neighbors already know your house is for sale and open house visitors rarely buy the homes they visit. Although, once in a while there can be a buyer who has driven by and they are intrigued enough with the area to stop and “shop.” If you really want more open houses, your listing agent may allow other agents within their office to hold it open. Open houses attract prospective home buyers and then agents hope to convince some of these visitors at the open house to work with them on their home search.

Showing Your House To Home Buyers

We at Homewerks cannot stress how important it is that your house should always be available for showings, even though it may not always be inconvenient for you. Your listing agent will attach a lock box on your front door or in a convenient place to make it easy for buyer agents to show your home to their home buyers. Otherwise, agents will have to schedule appointments with you, which is an inconvenient and time consuming way to show your home on the market. Most agents and home buyers will just pass your home over to show other properties of sellers who make their homes more available. Most listing agents will use a showing service to arrange for showings. Typically they will call and give you at least a couple of hours notice before showing for an appointment to look over your property. Every time you refuse to let them show your home, you have reduced the chances of getting an offer and eventually selling your house and often REALTORS will just skip your property. Even if they come back another time, it will probably be with different buyers and you may have just lost a chance to sell your home.

Reasons Why You Cannot Be Home During a Showing

This is another thing that you, as a seller, cannot do. Home buyers will feel uncomfortable, as if they are intruders, if you are in your home when they show for their appointment, and they might not be as receptive toward viewing your home. Make a shopping trip to the store or visit a local restaurant, go to the movies, or take the kids to the local park. If you absolutely cannot leave, and this should only be for a medical reason or some other reason that requires you cannot leave your home, try to remain in an out of the way area of the house and do not move from room to room. Do not volunteer any information, but answer any questions the visiting buyer’s agent may ask.

Why Staging your Broomfield Home is Important

Staging a home for sale is about perfecting the art of creating moods. Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, bigger, warmer, comfortable but above everything else, it makes home buyers want to buy it! Staging is what you do after you've decluttered, cleaned, painted, fixed, made minor repairs to mechanical items and replaced anything that should be. It's all about dressing the house for sale.

Professional stagers are highly skilled artists. They take areas of a home and add and take away elements, creating open space and making less look like so much more. Stagers possess the skills of a top-level designer and they create dramatic scenery that appeals to home buyers when they come visit your home for sale.

A professional stager will bring in a vast array of items to spruce up the house, such as mirrors, afghans, pictures, baskets, pillows and minimal amounts of furniture. How the minimum amount of items are laid out is limited only by the creativity and vision of the stager.

Some real estate agents help home sellers stage the home themselves. Most listing agents in Denver agree, however, that vacant homes show better with staging and will encourage sellers to hire a professional stager. Prices for home staging can range from $300 to $5,000 or more, depending on square footage and the number of rooms staged and to what extent the staging is used to dress the home up.

Keeping the House Tidy & Neat

Not everyone makes his or her bed every day, but when selling a home it is recommended that you develop the habit. Pick up papers, do not leave empty glasses in the family room, keep everything freshly dusted and vacuumed. Try your best to have it look like a model home – a home with furniture but nobody really lives there.

Staging Tips

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