The Colorado real estate market is hot, and homes move fast. Whether you’re looking to move to a new home or relocate out of state, you need to be prepared — with a plan in place — to receive the best return on your investment. 

Here are seven tips to follow as you prepare to list your home.

1. Know your game plan

While it’s ideal to have a new home lined up and ready to move into, that may not happen. So what are your options? Will you rent in between, if you receive an offer and close on your current home before finding that next home? Is staying with family or friends an option? Will you add a contingency to your home sale, saying the buyer cannot move in until you’ve moved on and out? 

Knowing your game plan is key to a fast home sale. Be sure to take temporary and future housing into consideration before you move on to the next steps.

2. Prepare your home

Hopefully, you are fortunate enough to live in a turn-key, move-in ready home that you can prep fast. Think minimal projects like cleaning and organizing. If not, you may want to jump to the next step and revisit your home prep task after you hire the right Realtor. You don’t want to move too quickly that you end up investing in unnecessary home improvement projects that cost money but don’t provide a return on investment (ROI).

3. Hire a Realtor

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical For Sale By Owner (FSBO, pronounced Fizbo) home sold for $200,000 in 2017 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales. 

But you’re not just missing out on proceeds, you’re also looking at the potential to misunderstand paperwork, not sell within your ideal timeframe, and not set your sales price correctly (more on that below). If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, it’s in your best interest to have a Realtor assist you.

4. Price your home right, the first time

To successfully sell your home within the first four weeks of listing, you’ll need to be sure you don’t come in under market value — or worse, overprice your home. The former would mean heavy traffic when it comes to home showings, and it may also mean many offers to sort through. Let’s not forget the obvious: you’re losing money!  On the other hand, overpricing could mean your home sits on the market past your desired timeframe, and the longer it sits, the less attractive it is to buyers.

You’ll also want to be sure you don’t overprice because it could mean your buyer cannot be approved for financing — even if he already received pre-approval. That’s because the lender will look at your home’s appraised value, and they may not offer final loan approval if the appraisal comes in under contract price.

Set yourself up for success by comparing your home with similar area properties currently for sale or recently sold. This is called a comparative market analysis (CMA), and it’s something your Realtor can do for you.

5. Effectively market your home

Presentation is everything. Will your home require staging? If so, your real estate agent can discuss staging options that don’t break the bank. She can also go over the most effective ways to market your home to the right audience, outside of listing it on multiple listing services (MLS). This can include but is not limited to, sharing the listing with her contacts and previous clients.

Let’s not forget the safety precautions. When a REALTOR® markets a property, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen qualified prospects and ensure they are accompanied by an agent when walking through your property.

6. Accommodate all home showings

The right buyer may be the person who is requesting a home showing at 6 pm, after a long day of work and right around dinner time. Needless to say, it’s essential to accommodate (most) any showtimes. It’s going to exhausting trying to keep a clean house and to find things for young kids to do — believe us, we understand — but it’s worth being flexible if you want to sell your home fast.

7. Know what kind of offer you’re looking for

Whether you receive many of few offers on your home, it can be challenging to choose the right offer. You’ll need to know whether or not the buyer is pre-qualified, so there are no surprises during the mortgage approval process. Yet, you’ll also need to know about closing timeframes and contingencies, both of which can vary with each offer. Having a Realtor guide you through the pros and cons is helpful, especially if you need to negotiate with the buyers. You can save a lot of time in the long run if you’re upfront with expectations.