Getting ready to sell your house in Colorado? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!
Now is a good time to be selling a house in Colorado! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Centennial State rose 2.40% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 4.12% over the next year.
Of course, even the best Colorado properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.
Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Colorado!
JUMP TO SECTION
1. Finding a Colorado realtor
Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Colorado home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.
The best Colorado listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.
In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $501,345 home — the median home value in Colorado, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $165,443. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Deciding when to sell
Every market has a unique rhythm to it; in the north half of the nation, buyers are understandably reluctant to look at properties when the temperature dips below zero and the snow piles up. So northern markets tend to bottom out in the winter months.
In the southern half the nation, the market's deadest in the dog days of summer, when temperatures hit triple digits and you can fry an egg on your car's dashboard. And there are dozens of other factors beyond the weather.
Best time to sell a house across the U.S.
Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center
Best time to sell a house in Colorado
|Best Month to Sell for Speed in Colorado||April & June||16 days on market||8 days faster than average|
|Best Month to Sell for Price in Colorado||May||$419,000 median sale price||4% more than average|
If you're shooting for the fastest sale possible, listing in April or June is your best option. Homes listed in these months spend 16 days on market — significantly quicker than the Colorado average of 24 days on market.
To get the highest sales price, put your house on the market in May. The median sale price of homes listed then is $419,000, which is $15,000 more than average.
Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Colorado
3. Pricing your home
One of the most difficult and important steps in selling your home is deciding on the list price. It’s easy to make an emotional decision and set the price at what you want it to be, or hope it will be, but there’s a better way to do it.
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will examine similar properties in your market and produce an empirical, market-based price for your home. Studies have shown that the longer your house is on the market, the lower the odds of an eventual sale, so starting out at the right price couldn’t be more important.
4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home
Before you put your home on the market, you'll need to get it ready for fresh eyes. Remove all clutter and do a thorough cleaning. Do a frank assessment of your furniture, finishes, and paint scheme; if they're far out of date, consider updating.
Remove heavy window treatments so as much natural light penetrates into your home as possible. If you're selling in the winter, when it tends to be dimmer, think about supplementing the natural light with artificial lighting.
You'll also need to have professional photos taken of your home for your listing. Your agent will know a good photographer to use and can help with the staging. You'll also need an enticing, well-written listing description to accompany the photos. You can find some great examples online, and this is also another area where your agent can help. Don't forget to include any unique features your property might have to offer, like mountain views, or highly desirable finishes like granite counters.
When you enter the open house/showing stage of your selling journey, consult with your agent about the best way to present your home to buyers. The more eyes you can get it in front of, the better, so you may want to consider a lockbox for after-hours showings, or scheduling private showings.
Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House
5. Fielding offers and negotiations
When the offer comes in, you can either accept it, reject it, or send back a counteroffer. In Colorado, you generally have 1-3 days to accept the offer in writing before it expires. If the offer is unacceptable, you can reject by a non-response, or by rejecting it in writing or through your agent. Or you can submit a counteroffer to the prospective buyer.
When you counteroffer, you can ask for more money or you can exclude, say, the appliances from the sale. Consult with your agent to get a sense of how amenable the buyer might be to negotiation; was their initial offer their best and final, or was it a deliberate lowball offer to start negotiations?
If you're one of the lucky sellers who gets multiple bidders on your home, it's best to avoid giving individual counteroffers, as this can cause confusion. Consider asking all bidders for their best and final offers, and then reassessing.
Once you've accepted an offer, you have 1-2 days to make your mandatory disclosures. Your buyer has 2-5 days to apply for a loan. (Ideally, they've already started this process long before now.)
You can also negotiate the closing costs; although sellers traditionally pay the lion's share of the closing costs (they are, after all, the ones receiving the money), this is certainly up for debate. Again, consult with your agent to see what path best suits your goals.
Finally, there's the purchase agreement. This spells out in detail all the conditions agreed to, including the purchase price, contingencies, earnest money, closing costs, and various deadlines. You're almost at the finish line!
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette
6. Appraisal and inspections
The next step, once an agreement is in place, is to have your home appraised. Even if the buyer's already had a loan approved, it could still be rejected if your home is appraised at lower than the selling price.
An appraisal is done by a licensed professional. If he appraises your home at equal to or greater than the selling price, the lender will likely give the transaction the green light. If he doesn't, you could run into problems.
The simplest way to handle a low appraisal is for you to lower the price. The buyer could also make up the difference in cash. Just don't panic if your appraisal comes in low: it's a very solvable problem.
The inspection, if it comes in unsatisfactory, can present a thornier situation. The buyer will hire a licensed state inspector to examine the state of your home's structure, systems, and check for things like termites, radon, asbestos, and lead paint. If your home passes, the sale can proceed, but if he finds problems, you may have to renegotiate.
If the inspection finds, say, a leaky roof, the buyer can request that you repair the roof. You may not be inclined to invest in such serious repairs at this late stage, but keep in mind that, if you walk away from this buyer, you're legally obligated to provide a copy of the inspection report to the next one. It might be easier just to move forward with the sale than to explain to the next buyer why everything crumbled after an inspection.
7. Paperwork and required Colorado disclosures
When it's time to make your mandatory disclosures, keep in mind that they're required by law. Meaning that if you fail to disclose something on this list, you could be vulnerable to a fine or a lawsuit down the line.
Like most states, Colorado has its own unique list of mandatory disclosures. They include the property's source of potable water, if the property is located in a special taxing district or a common interest community, any proposed transportation projects that may impact the property, and the surface and mineral estate rights, as well as gas and oil activity.
Last, but not least, you have to disclose whether or not the property has been used as a meth lab — unless it's been fully remediated.
Keep in mind there's also a federal law requiring the disclosure of the presence of lead paint.
A lot of paperwork goes into selling a house. While it's good to be familiar with all the documents you might need to close on your home, always consult your agent or attorney before signing or filing paperwork.
A licensed professional should walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.
Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Colorado
8. The closing process
After all the offers, counteroffers, inspections, appraisals, haggling and negotiation, you've come to a mutual agreement. The last step is closing.
In Colorado, the closing usually takes place at a table, usually at the lender or title company. Shortly before the parties meet, there will have been a final walkthrough, to make sure the property is in the same condition as when it was appraised.
Make sure that you clean the house, move out all your belongings, and cancel your home insurance and utilities before the day of the closing.
The buyer will bring a cashier's check to the closing for closing and associated costs, and you'll hand over the keys. You'll both sign the closing documents, the attorney or title company rep will record the transaction with the municipality, and that's it. Your home is, well, no longer yours. Congrats!
Learn More: How Much Are Seller Closing Costs in Colorado
Next steps: Sell your Colorado home and save thousands
Whether you’re looking to list your Colorado home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.
Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.
Top ways to sell your home in Colorado
- Discount real estate agents in Colorado
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Colorado
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Colorado
- iBuyers in Colorado