Pagosa Source – Pagosa Springs Real Estate
Harold Kelley Loher Suellen Mike Heraty Lauri Heraty Robin Curvey

About Pricing

The most important factor driving sales right now in Pagosa Springs, Durango and the surrounding southwest Colorado area is foreclosure prices.  If you are a seller hoping to sell your home in this market, you will be competing with an ever growing list of foreclosures currently available and entering the market weekly.

Pricing a Home With Equity Against Foreclosures and Short Sales

Pricing a home is at best a mix of facts, science and emotions. It's a combination of wearing a seller's hat and stepping into the buyer's shoes. Bear in mind that it doesn't matter much how much you think your home is worth if a buyer disagrees. Try answering these 3 questions:
1) What would make a buyer buy your home over a foreclosure or a short sale?
2) Why would a buyer's lender appraise your home for more than a foreclosure or short sale?
3) How much more is your home worth than a distressed sale?

You might be surprised at the answers. The truth is your home is not worth a whole lot more than a foreclosure, even if you put in upgrades, if all the recent sales are foreclosures and short sales. Appraisers don't give a huge allowance for upgrades like they used to do.

Buyers want a good deal. They might buy a home that needs carpeting, for example, if adding the cost of new carpeting still makes that bank-owned home's price attractive. On the other hand, if your home, with equity, is in tip-top shape and priced within the range of distressed sales, a buyer is much more likely to choose your home.
However, say, a bank-owned home priced at $200,000 needs $10,000 worth of work or improvements. If your home doesn't need any work, a buyer might offer only $210,000 for your home.

Examine the Foreclosed and Short Sale Comparable Sales

  • Look at every similar home that has sold in the area over the past three months to determine comparable sales.
  • Compare similar square footage, within 10% up or down from the subject property, if possible.
  • Compare homes with similar ages. Compare apples to apples.
  • Compare price/square foot of all sales in the past 3 months. This is one of the most important numbers in a market where you are competing with foreclosures
Smart sellers will weigh the cost of proposed improvements against the home's market value after the repairs or upgrades are completed. If an upgrade won't return the investment, such an improvement might not be warranted.  Kitchens and baths carry the highest return.
Make a list of everything that is defective, broken or worn out. If buyers spot problems or malfunctioning systems, they might wonder what else in the home has been neglected.

Here are 15 minimum improvements to make before selling your home:
  • Patch all holes and cracks in walls and ceilings.
  • Repair any cracked tiles or counters
  • Fix all broken appliances and HVAC systems.
  • Repair leaky faucets.
  • Replace worn carpeting.
  • Repaint dark or marred walls with neutral paint (not white).
  • Replace broken windows.
  • Change out dated light fixtures / ceiling fans.
  • Declutter - get a storage locker if needed. The less "stuff" you have in the house, the quicker it will sell - period!
  • Replace old linens / window coverings.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  • If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
  • Don't underestimate the value of a good, professional, thorough paint job!!

Other things that will help a home sell fast:

Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets
Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means neatly stacked dishes, organized glasses & coffee cups, neatly organized closets with pants and shirts grouped, shoes lined up and absolutely nothing in the entryway.

Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.

Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
Make the House Sparkle!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
Check Curb Appeal.
  • Keep the sidewalks cleared - especially in the winter.
  • Mow the lawn and trim bushes if needed.
  • Pick up all yard clutter, keep kids things well organized, not just lying on the ground. Get a couple of large colorful buckets for kids outdoor toys if needed and store in an area away from the front entry.
  • Put a pot of colorful flowers at the entryway
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.


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