Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Colorado Springs Real Estate 80920: Home Owners Get These Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

Tips For Selling a Home In The Winter

Carrie Lukins, Realtor
SellState Alliance Realty, Colorado Springs, CO. 80920

If the weather is getting colder and you need to get your home sold, consider the following advice to make the process easier and more effective. Use these Winter time home selling tips to effectively get your home sold.
  • Keep the temperature up – While you may have a strong desire to minimize your homes utility bills as winter weather arrives, you need to remember that you are selling an experience when you are selling your home. The people walking through your door should be able to imagine themselves living in your home – something that is hard to do when they are shivering from the cold. You do not have to keep the heat going all of the time if you are OK with cooler conditions, but definitely keep the house warm while you are showing if you want to attract offers. Selling a home has a lot to do with emotional connections. Often times people will know they like a place within five minutes of walking through the door. Making it easier for them to connect with your home is a smart move.
  • Take care of the ice and snow – If you live in an area where snow falls and temperatures drop below freezing, you should make it a point to keep access to your house free and clear of these obstacles and safety hazards. Your sidewalks and doorways should remain clear of snow and ice, both because it looks better and because it allows buyers access to the interior. It is also important for aesthetic reasons – people like a well-kept exterior. There are also legal reasons as well. Did you know that it is easy to get sued if someone falls and gets injured on your property because of negligence on your part? Some states  have made it a law that you have a legal responsibility to clear snow and ice from your home. Getting sued is never fun. It makes sense to spend a little extra keeping your property maintained especially when you are selling in the Winter.
  • Keep the exterior clean – One of the problems with wintertime is all the grime that accumulates due to the snow and ice. Your windows and your siding may have a noticeable layer of dirt on it that is best cleaned off before you show the house. You only get one first impression, so make it count by cleaning the exterior. So while keeping your walk and driveway cleared of ice and snow is important you also want the general appearance of your property to be up to snuff as well. A graceful appearance is certainly one of the top winter home selling tips to exercise with care. Take a look at my guide for some additional exterior home staging tips as well as other helpful advice on making your interior shine.
  • How to Fix Ice DamsWatch out for ice dams – While many people love the almost magical look of winter time around a home with snow and cool looking icicle formations, these things can wreak havoc on our homes. One of the more common issues that can appear in cold winter climates is the formation of ice dams. Ice dams can form around the eaves and gutters of a roof causing tremendous damage. Ice dams can loosen shingles, tear off shingles, and force water into our homes. This can cause damaged ceilings, peeling paint, ruined insulation and if you don’t address the problem right away mold! Fixing ice dam problems is something you will want to address right away especially when selling your home.  There are not many things in a home purchase that will scare a buyer away faster than a water issue. As a Realtor one of the things we discuss with sellers all the time is how to prepare for the buyers home inspection. This is of major importance because it is the largest hurdle to clear when selling a home. Many buyers are scared to death of any kind of water issues. Not only will you want to actually fix the ice dam itself but any kind of water staining left behind as well.
  • Showcase the fireplace – If you have a fireplace you should definitely show it off to buyers. How you do this will depend on several things. If you have a gas fireplace it is easy enough to start it up before a showing and add some ambiance to your family room area. However, a wood burning fireplace is not something you can just leave burning around the clock. You can set up the wood for a fire – at least demonstrating the potential for what the house can do. Talk with your real estate agent to determine the best way to do all of this. He or she may be comfortable starting a fire and taking care of it while showing your house.
  • Show in the daytime if possible – You only get so much daylight during the wintertime. Try to time the showings of your home for when the sun is still shining. It may take some effort to get buyers to your house before the workday ends but there are obvious benefits to doing so. People can see how the house actually looks both inside and out and will be more likely to find it appealing because of this. Since you can’t control when people will actually want to look at your home it will make sense to have a well lit exterior for the occasional showing past daylight hours. Take the time to make sure you have all the exterior lights turned on. If you have spotlights for the backyard or deck area make sure these are turned on as well. Selling a home in the winter can be more challenging to show off your home’s exterior living areas but it is well worth the effort.
  • How to sell a home in the winterEmphasize comfort – Beyond keeping the house warm and the fire lit, you can do a lot of little things to make your home seem more comfortable and inviting. Buyers may be coming in out of the cold and feeling stressed from the house-hunting experience. They may be wondering if they can find a house they really like that will be good for both them and their loved ones. Let them know that your house fits this ideal by focusing on the little things. You could put a nice fluffy blanket on the couch, turn back the comforter on the bed and make sure the interior lighting is warm and cozy. Some sellers like to bake cookies or pie during a showing to keep the house smelling like home. Others like to put on some relaxing music and light candles. What you do will depend on your personality and the space you are working with. Putting in a little effort to make the home comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable season can work wonders for your sale.  Colorado Real Estate Buyers pay attention to how well the seller had their home looking. Everything was perfect from the exceptional care they took with their exterior to the holiday decor to the subtle music playing in the background. All of the Realtors and buyers going through  homes are quick to comment on excellent appearances. It was clearly a difference maker as the home sold after only being on the market for a few weeks in a very slow time of year.
  • Embrace the season – The holiday season is one of the greatest advantages you have while selling in winter. While there are certainly challenges presented by holidays and vacationing buyers, there are also a range of things you can do to tap into the energy that already exists due to the season. Sellers in wintertime often decide to decorate their homes for the holiday to really draw buyers in. Decorations, lights, scents and even presents under the tree can all do great things for your sale. Many buyers will have families or be planning on having a family. Let them see how great your home is for throwing holiday parties and enjoying time with family and friends. It may be just the thing to attract an offer. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. While being festive and having holiday decor can set your home apart from others it can also become a major distraction when you cross the limits. Ask your real estate agent their opinion. Realtors go into tons of homes so they should have a good understanding of what is tasteful and what is “too much”.
  • No shoes – It is easy to be too accommodating to potential buyers, sometimes to your detriment. One boundary that buyers may actually appreciate is the “no shoes” rule. Considering all of the slush and dirt that can be pulled in from outside, it only makes sense to have visitors remove their footwear before walking around in your home. You have already had the carpet cleaned in anticipation of your showings. The last thing you want is mud and dirt brought in from foot traffic.You can place a sign at the door letting visitors know that shoes should be removed prior to entering. Some people offer disposable slippers to wear while in the house, although this is not necessary. What this does is show that you take pride in your home. Buyers generally appreciate this especially when they have the same mindset you do.
  • Price Your Home CorrectlyPrice it right – Depending on your area, the competition for selling a home may be less due to the winter season. However, this does not mean you should price your home excessively high. There are real risks that come with too high a price, including having your home remain on the market far too long to attract good offers. Work with your Realtor to set a fair price for your home that will attract offers right away. The sooner you sell your home, the better. This advice is really important when you are in an area where winter time home selling activity really decreases. The last thing you want to do is have your days on the market inflated heading into spring. This is just going to encourage buyers to make low ball offers on your home. Something I am sure you will want to avoid at all costs! Monitor the days on the market carefully and try to understand when it is appropriate to reduce your home price. Again your real estate agent should be a trusted adviser to consult with on this subject.
  • General home selling tips – There are some things that go without saying when selling a home no matter what time of year it is. Besides properly pricing your home which is the most important thing you can do there are other items that are critical components to a successful home sale. These include among other things picking a top producing Realtor, having exceptional photography, keeping your place clean, and allowing easy access for agents to show your home. Request a list of best home sale tips here. When you follow these home sale tips there is no doubt your chances of success will improve dramatically.
  • Make your marketing material count – One of the downsides of selling a home in the winter is that people can often times not get to see how great your lot looks. Maybe you have the greenest lawn on the block? How about a tree that is simple stunning when it is in full bloom in the spring? Do you have an amazing in-ground pool for summertime fun? These are all things that a buyer will not get to fully appreciate when you are selling in the winter. You can however, make it easier for them to picture. Do this by providing them with some of your best exterior photos during other seasons of the year. This is something that is great to have and will compliment any other creative real estate marketing you have left on the counter for a potential buyer to take with them.

Why Sell a Home In The Winter?

Now that you know how to sell a home in the winter you may be wondering if it is actually a good idea. Much like selling a home in the fall there are some advantages that come with selling in the winter. The biggest competitive advantage a seller has in the wintertime is less competition. Typically there are far fewer homes for sale in the winter than at other times of the year.
Most sellers will wait until early Spring to market their home. This benefits a seller as buyers have far fewer choices. Additionally while winter is usually much slower for home sales, the buyers looking are almost always more serious especially in areas where the weather is inclement. Unless they are really serious about buying a home it is doubtful a buyer will make a practice of going out and looking at homes in the snow and frigid temperatures.
Carrie Lukins, Realtor
Let Carrie Lukins at SellState Alliance Realtor help you get your home sold right! Call her today at 719-621-6142 or visit Carrie knows the Colorado Springs Real Estate market, and how to showcase homes in any season and get them sold.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Colorado Springs Real Estate 80920 Reasons Why To Buy a Home

Real Reasons Colorado Springs Residents Buy Homes In 80290
It was reported that the New York Times felt that homeownership was important. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

There’s No Place Like Home

The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, the holiday season is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Briargate 80924 Colorado Springs Real Estate

The northern Colorado Springs real estate in the Briargate master-planned communities feature excellent amenities, award-winning schools, nearby employment centers, and unlimited recreational opportunities.  Located east of Interstate 25 and north of Woodmen Road, Briargate neighborhoods span approximately 10,000 acres.  

An experienced Colorado Springs Realtor can assist homebuyers to search for Colorado Springs homes for sale in Briargate's several communities.  Each subdivisions offers distinct amenities.  
  1. The original Briargate community is closest to downtown Colorado Springs
  2. Briargate's Summerfield, Pine Creek, and Kettle Creek communities are on the western side of Briargate
  3. Fairfax, Gatehouse, and Cordera are Briargate neighborhoods on the west side

colorado springs homes
Built over the past 25 years, Briargate offers a variety of single-family homes, extraordinary custom home estates, patio homes, townhomes, and condominiums of varying ages.  Homes feature 1,000-3,300 square feet with two to five bedrooms.  Most of the home prices for this sought-after real estate in Colorado Springs falls into the $120,000 to  $345,000 range.  Some newer home values approach $1 million.  

Briargate Single Family Colorado Springs Homes
Featured Neighborhoods in Briargate
Cumbre Vista
Reverie at Pine Creek
Pine Creek
Kettle Creek
Briargate Crossing

Amenities Available in Briargate

Busy families enjoy the convenience afforded by the Briargate Master Plan.  Recreational facilities, shopping districts, and employment centers are nearby. 

Miles of interlinking trails, open space, themed parks, and a community center with pool.  Rampart Park, Woodmen, and Briargate trail systems cross through the neighborhoods.  Residents of homes in Briargate also enjoy easy access to Briargate's Family YMCA and Pine Creek Golf Course. 

In addition, Briargate features schools, public areas, and office and commercial districts.  The Promenade Shops at Briargate and other destination shopping areas are minutes away. 

Schools Serving Briargate Families

Highly esteemed Academy District 20 Schools serve the families, operating High Plains Elementary School, Frontier Elementary School, Mountain Ridge Middle School, and Rampart High School for children and youth residing in Briargate.  Private schools are also located in the area.

Find Out More about Colorado Springs Real Estate

Contact Carrie Lukins, SellState Alliance Realty at (719) 651-2188 to learn how we can help you achieve your lifetime goals.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Colorado Home Owners: Here is Why Your Home Didn't Sell and What To Do Next

So your home was listed on the market and didn't sell, and perhaps the question you're asking yourself right now is, "What went wrong?" If you attempted to sell it by yourself, you may simply have not fully understood the process of selling a home. However, if you listed your home with a professional agent, there are really only several things to review to find out what happened.

Why Didn't My Home Sell?

Assuming that you previously listed your home with an agent, problem areas with sales usually involve on of the following:


When the National Association of Realtors polled homeowners for their annual poll, more sellers cited poor communication as the biggest complaint they had about their agent. It is imperative that you work with an agent that you can talk to and just as importantly - that can talk to you honestly. If there are issues that are preventing the sale of your home, your agent needs to be able to communicate these to you. Your agent also needs to be able to relay feedback received from buyers that have viewed your home - it allows you to make adjustments on the fly for improved showing experiences for the next buyer.


It's important to understand that you will not determine the price your home eventually sells for. Neither will your agent. Only the market is going to determine that price in the end. So then you might ask, "Why do I need an agent then?" It is your agent's job to help you set a list price that will attract the right buyers, get your home in optimal showing condition, and evaluate the market to put you in a better negotiating position. Marketing is extremely important - after all, if no one knows your home is for sale, no one can buy it. One of the biggest differences among agents is how effectively they can expose your home to largest possible audience.
Agents use the central MLS system to develop a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. Typically, they'll search for similar properties (square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size and features) in your neighborhood and use three active listings and three listings that have sold in the last 3 - 6 months. These properties will usually paint a pretty clear picture of a price range that your home could be expected to sell for. Finally, three expired listings will also be pulled as an indicator of what the market is not willing to bear. Armed with this information, you can ready your home for sale and feel comfortable about your asking price.

Preparing Your Home

What's the quickest way to get someone to fall in love with your home? Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to envision themselves living in it! Your job in preparing your home for sale is to make it appealing to the widest range of buyers as possible. A good agent will have lots of ideas of how you can make your home shine!
Staging your home doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. Start with the yard - trim back the trees and shrubs, pull the weeds, and keep your lawn mowed and edged at least weekly. Put down some fresh mulch to make those flowerbeds pop, and consider putting in some seasonal color during the showing period. Inside the home - remove any furniture and fixtures that you don't absolutely need to live; de-personalize the home by putting away family photos and nick-nacks, pack up and store all that extra stuff you keep in closets; and clean the house from top to bottom, including all the windows. Fix all the little "things" that you've been meaning to get to - eliminate the problem before the buyer sees them. Touch up the paint, and neutralize colors - think about the colors that you see in model homes. Open the blinds, keep the house a cool temperature, and always, always keep the house smelling clean - baking scents work wonders.
The object of all this makeready is to make your home seem as big and bright as possible. Buyers want to see large rooms, large closets, and great flow. They cant see all that if your rooms and closets are cluttered with furniture and belongings. Clean smells, soft music, and bright homes make buyers sit up and pay attention. Remember, your home is competing with all the other homes currently for sale - make yours the best looking home for the money.

How Will You Market My Home?

You should always ask potential agents what specifically they do to market your property. Make note of any differences in marketing strategy and compare what's important to you. Ask agents to elaborate on specific tasks that you think will make a larger impact in the sale of your home. Pay special attention to agents customer service skills - these will be crucial in dealing with buyer's agents and ensuring that transactions proceed smoothly.
Want to get a copy of OUR marketing plan? Simply complete the form at right and we'll be happy to send you a copy!
Carrie Lukins at SellState Alliance Realty, Colorado Springs, CO. is committed to providing you the best real estate representation available anywhere. Please feel free to contact us at (719)651-2199 or email us at