Have You Used an iBuyer Firm? Tell Us About Your Experience

Perhaps you have heard about this new trend in real estate. Best known for this are Zillow Offers and OpenDoor. 

I’ll be writing about this topic in the near future, and I’d like to hear from readers who have any experience with this new real estate business model.

I already have an example. One of my current sellers (now under contract)  entered into a listing agreement with OpenDoor but had second thoughts about it, got out of the agreement and called me to list their home.

I’d like to have more input before I write about this topic.

Just Listed: Home in Golden’s Village at Mountain Ridge

This beautiful 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with oversized 3-car garage at 461 White Ash Drive is nestled against the foothills just west of downtown Golden in the Village at Mountain Ridge. It was just listed for $835,000 by Kristi Brunel. Enjoy spectacular views from every window including North/South Table Mountains off the back deck and Mt. Galbraith Open Space Park off your cozy front porch.  Featuring an amazing master suite, guest quarters, wet bar and walkout basement, this move-in ready home just needs your personal touch to make it your forever Golden home! Get more info and take a narrated video tour at www.MountainRidgeHome.com, then come to the Open House, Sunday, July 7th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Renovate Your Home for Your Own Enjoyment, Not to Help It Sell Better

Sellers often ask whether they should renovate prior to putting their home on the market. The short answer is “no.”  Unless you’re fixing an eyesore, you will be wasting your money.

So, what’s an “eyesore”?  I use the term to define something that draws a buyer’s immediate attention in a negative way — a torn carpet, a damaged countertop, a broken window, a weathered and peeling front door, etc.

The closer an eyesore is to the home’s entrance, the more important it will be to fix. If the eyesore is in a far-flung bedroom or the basement, I’m less concerned, so long as the main part of the house is really attractive. By the time a buyer gets to that eyesore, they will either have fallen in love with the house or not. If they have fallen in love by then, the buyer’s response will be more forgiving — “Oh, that’s easy to fix.”

Eliminating eyesores is worth every penny. Other improvements, such as updating a bathroom or kitchen that’s not an eyesore, may return some or much of what you spend, but probably not all. On such improvements, consider the condition of the real estate market.  If there’s a shortage of homes like yours — say, a ranch-style home in a desirable neighborhood — then you could probably minimize even the eyesore fixes. If your home will have lots of competition, fixing those eyesores becomes far more important. This is a topic on which you benefit from speaking with a Realtor, given our ready access to such data. 

Committed as we at Golden Real Estate are to sustainability, I hate to say it, but installing solar panels produces about the lowest return on investment when it comes to selling your home. You should only invest in solar if you intend to stay in your home for at least five years. You will get your return on investment from the reduced energy bills, not in a higher sale price for your home. In our case, we installed 10 kilowatts of solar at our home, but that was seven years ago, and we don’t plan to sell anytime soon.  If you make the same decision, please buy solar instead of leasing. Selling a home with a leased solar system is not as attractive to buyers.

As stated in the headline, make improvements that you want to live with and enjoy, and make them nownot when you’re about to sell.  It matters little to Rita and me whether our wonderful new kitchen will return the $40,000 we spent on renovating it, since we will have enjoyed it ourselves for many years. And if you know you’re going to sell eventually, but not soon, spend the money now and enjoy the improvement!

Some of the other improvements Rita and I made soon after buying our home and continue to appreciate over 7 years later include installing Solatubes (to bring sunlight into our windowless garage and laundry room) and an energy audit followed by weatherization improvements. We had acacia hardwood flooring installed, and retrofitted the south-facing windows with Low-E glass. A hybrid gas furnace/heat pump system heats and cools our home.  We also installed a hot water recirculation line to provide instant hot water at all faucets.

How to Research Potential Listing Agents

A shortcut that I created,  www.Find DenverRealtors.com, takes you to the page on Denver’s MLS for searching agents by name. Note: If you don’t find the agent you’re looking for right away, try entering only their last name, since they may use a nickname or have an initial you didn’t enter. When the agent’s name appears, click on his/her name to go to another web page where you can read his or her profile (assuming they created one) and see current and sold listings, unless they have none.

Click on their listings to see how the agent described each home on the MLS. Did they list all the rooms, not just bedrooms and bathrooms, providing dimensions, or just enter the mandatory fields? Keep in mind that the best indicator of how listing agents will serve you is how they have served previous sellers.

Looking at those listings will answer the most important questions which you’d ask in person, but you won’t have to take their word — the truth is right there in front of you. You’ll learn, for example, whether they did point-and-shoot pictures or had a professional photographer shoot magazine quality photos, and whether they created a real narrated video tour, as we do, or merely a slide show with music.

Price Reduced on Great Westminster Home

This well maintained 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom brick 2-story home at 4029 W. 104th Place in The Windings subdivision is conveniently located near great shopping restaurants, walking trails and lots of open space.  The price was just reduced to $585,000. Legacy Ridge and Hyland Hills public golf courses, nearby, are top rated. The home is highly efficient with a newer furnace and A/C. The utility bills are low, thanks to its on-demand Rinnai hot water heater and solar panels. The large bright family room has a gas fireplace, vaulted ceilings and skylights. The large covered deck with mountain views is perfect for entertaining. The basement has a large game/TV room, a ¾ bath and a large storage area with built-in closets. The garage is oversized with natural light, a workbench and storage closets. Get more info and take a narrated video tour at www.WestminsterHome.info.

5-Bedroom Columbine Knolls Ranch Has a Finished Basement

This 2,963-sq.-ft. brick ranch at 8006 S. Vance Court is in the Columbine Knolls South subdivision, north of Chatfield Ave. between Wadsworth & Pierce. It is listed for $498,000.

It has four bedrooms and 2½ baths on the main floor, plus a 5th bedroom and 3/4 bath in the basement, along with a rec room and plenty of unfinished storage. It’s a super quiet location, as you’ll observe on the narrated video that you can view at www.ColumbineKnollsHome.info. Some features that caught my attention include the three Solatubes and one skylight bringing natural light into the home’s interior spaces, including the kitchen, plus the beautiful family room with rock fireplace and vaulted ceiling. Watch that video tour, then call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing — or come to my open house this Saturday,  June 22nd, 1 to 3 pm.