Category Archives: listing your home

Now Is The Time…To Sell Your Boulder Real Estate

Now is the time to sell… Your Boulder Real Estate

Downtown Boulder Bungalow

It really came to light the other day when, after much research, I had helped a seller put a reasonable price on their Boulder  home I am marketing for them. I had implemented the entire Sotheby’s marketing plan (a multi-pronged media rich global approach to marketing, casting a very wide net). Within 3 weeks I had multiple offers. I now have a cash offer over the asking price on a property that normally would have taken several months in the dead of winter to sell. The property is now Under Contract and moving toward the closing table.

A good part of it is the Sotheby’s Marketing Plan. This marketing plan, created after years of research, matches your property, style and price point to an extensive custom tailored marketing plan to generate interest and reach buyers looking for your particular property and Lifestyle. There are several reasons you may want to consider selling your home;

  • Mortgage Interest Rates have never been lower. Lenders are also starting to loosen the reins on credit thereby striking a more balanced middle ground approach to lending. I have connections with a select group of lenders that have pulled together attractive packages for several of my buyers. Contact Michael today and let me find you the perfect property and insure you get to take advantage of today’s historically low rates.
  • Low Home Inventory in the Boulder Real Estate market. The inventory has not been this low for a very long time. That, coupled with pent up demand make for an economic scenario not seen for decades.
  • Highest Price For Your Home.Because of the Low Inventory, the Pent Up Demand and the

    Mountain Biking

    Lowest Mortgage Interest Rates in history we have the “perfect storm.” This means  a quicker sale, more money in your pocket and less work for you because you don’t have to keep the perfect home while showings drag on and on.

  • Sotheby’s International Realty Marketing Plan.  An extensive custom tailored, multi-pronged, media rich, global approach to marketing your lifestyle, home, location and price. Bringing interested buyers for your property from around the neighborhood and the globe.
  • Receive a free Market Analysis of your home.

Red Rocks Above Boulder

Michael grew up near Santa Fe and is a longtime resident of Boulder and has been with Sotheby’s International Realty since their inception in Boulder County and along the front range.  If you have questions regarding this article or would like information about Boulder real estate or Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes is a (CNE) Certified Negotiation Expert and full time Realtor at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO. What’s your lifestyle? I take great pride in my in-depth knowledge of Colorado luxury home market trends, research-based pricing strategies, having a powerful network of qualified luxury home buyers, first-hand Boulder real estate insight and proven 16 year track record of selling unique Denver and Boulder luxury real estate.

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Divorce and Selling Your Home

Posted by Michael Hughes – Sothebys International Realty-Boulder

Once in awhile, the most satisfying days for real estate agent Michael Hughes of Sothebys International Realty in Boulder, Colorado are the ones when he goes to a listing appointment and the homeowner says no he doesn’t want to sell. “I love ‘No’s. Don’t get me wrong I love Yes’s as well but it has to be a good fit for me as well as the divorcing couple.” Says Hughes. First it has to be a good fit for them, a good fit for me and the house has to be a Sotheby’s quality home.

I specialize in Boulder real estate sales related to divorce, a niche I cultivated after my own marriage ended several years ago and I became painfully conscious of the uncertainty and apprehension that can surround this major marital asset.

Going through a divorce is confusing and anxiety inducing. I wasn’t sure of what to do with my house after the divorce and all my friends were giving advice. I love my friends however I am glad I didn’t listen to them as it was some of the worst advice.

I decided that the financial strife that goes hand in hand with divorce must be universal. Any real estate agent who focuses on divorce-related sales not only is going to have to be able to endure a certain amount of pressure and potential friction, but also has to tread a fine line between empathy and business like detachment.

When I started listing and selling houses of couples divorcing, the tendency would be to want to listen (to sellers discussing their marital breakups), after awhile I set my boundaries and realized they needed to talk to therapists not me about their marital strife. I am a Realtor I can help them move on by helping them get their home sold quickly and efficiently. I keep a list of therapists, lenders, insurance agents, mediators and financial planners handy at all times.

I work as a transaction broker.  I represent both divorcees in the sale of their Boulder real estate. Often this requires a double set of every communication and separate and often equal approvals for each decision.

When it is a court ordered sale then it must be done and it is a matter of showing both parties that I can represent them both rationally and safely and that they are both safe. I will not bias to one side or the other as a Transaction Broker ever.

If you are divorcing please give me a call. I can help.

If you have questions regarding this article or have any questions about Boulder or would like information about Boulder Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Fire in Boulder, Relaxed Rules for Rebuilding

Posted by Michael Hughes

Land use codes for Fourmile Fire victims who want to rebuild their homes have been relaxed by the Boulder County Commissioners. Deja Vu yesterday when another fire threatened Boulder real estate in the nearby foothills.

People whose houses burned in the blaze have up to two years to apply for permits to rebuild essentially in the same location, the same house they lost without going through the county’s painstaking site plan review process. As a person who as done an addition and built in house in Boulder I speak from experience.

The fresh rules will also allow victims to add up to 530 square feet, typically the size of a two-car garage. That’s somewhat of a random number however any additional amount that can be added is beneficial to the fire victims. They can also make minor changes to the house design and site location, using an accelerated review process that’s more meticulous than just applying for a building permit but easier than going though the entire review.

The Fourmile Fire burned more than 6,000 acres, demolishing 169 homes in its wake in the mountains west of Boulder.

The commissioners said they were sympathetic to the call to waive fees but apparently they aren’t into doing it across the board. They know they should just do it instead of wasting time in more meetings to resolve minutae. They need to be sensitive to cases of hardship and  a fire is all hardship. Of course we don’t want the taxpayers of Boulder County footing the bill for the items that otherwise might be paid for by insurance companies. These people have been devastated they don’t need to be more devastated by an numb group of county commissioners. Let them rebuild there Boulder real estate and move on. To read the full article.

If you have questions about this article or any things Boulder or Real Estate give me a call a comment a text or visit my website or Phone or text. Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Aggresive Short Sale Strategies

By Michael Hughes

Strange times.  Gone are the days when you shopped for a house, found one you liked, and haggled politely with the seller, then moved in. Don’t get me wrong it does happen more often than not. But in today’s market, some buyers are making 3 to 12 offers AT A TIME. No fair, you say? Impossible! What’s the point? How can they do that?

The Boulder Real Estate (county)  market has an ample amount of distressed homes, not so much in the Boulder proper but definitely the outlying areas. Especially short sales. Combine that with aggressive, determined buyers and you’ve got an apocalyptic explosive extravaganza.  What’s that mean? Let’s look at the scenarios in play.

Consider an aggressive buyer:

This is a pre-approved or all cash buyer who is laser beam focused on the type, style, size, location, price, amenities, and anything else that they might want in a home.  They WILL buy a home some Boulder real estate in the  County.  They are determined, tenacious, relentless, tech savvy, unafraid, bold, organized, employed, and destined for success.  They have their iPhones out and are ready to rumble. Mix this with a Short Sale home for sale, where the outcome, terms, timing, conditions, price, and closing is extremely unpredictable.  Certainty and determination meets uncertainty, molasses in January slow response times and frustration.  Would you hitch only one wagon up to that star?  The aggressive buyer will answer – “not on your life.”

So what does this forceful buyer do in a market with a reasonable number of Short Sales?

Like an automatic shutter on a camera taking multiple frames per second.  Or a Gatling gun firing continuous rounds of bullets until it hits something.  Or a waistline challenged person with his buffet pants on in the buffet line. Get the idea?  The aggressive buyer takes control of the only thing he can – the offers he makes.  And waits to see what happens.  Which cork on the bottles of champagne is going to pop first?

Look at the other side of the coin:

Why in the world would a Boulder County home seller go along with this?  Well…One reason sellers work with buyers who are making other offers at the same time is because the Colorado Real Estate Commission approved form; Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate,  has no line item to indicate how many other offers the buyer has made.  The buyer is not required to disclose the number of offers they’ve made. Currently. So the seller has no official way of knowing whether or not a buyer is firing off multiple offers.  Do some sellers ask?  Sure.  Do buyers always come clean? Maybe. Maybe not. Another reason seller’s work with buyers making other offers is that seller cannot submit a request for approval to proceed with a Short Sale WITHOUT an offer.  They usually take the first offer they receive and work with their agent to submit the Short Sale Package to get the ball rolling with their bank. Regardless of how many other offers that buyer has made.  It gets their process started.  By the time it comes down to the time for approval there are typically multiple offers on the house in boulder county. They may end up with an approved Short Sale and no real buyer, but the process has begun.

Bottom line…whether you are buying or selling in today’s wild west Boulder County real estate market, the more you know, the more prepared you’ll be to face whatever the market brings you.  And you can create your strategy accordingly.

If you have questions about this article or anything Boulder TEXT or give me a call anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sothebys International Realty=303-359-6627 or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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Best Time To Buy A House In Boulder-When Is Now A Good Time?

By Michael Hughes     October 6, 2010

In today’s competitive Boulder Real Estate market, you need a strategy to be a successful home buyer.  You need to by crystal clear about your finances, your down payment (with documentation of origin), your top priorities in a home, and how hard you are willing to work to make it happen. As a home buyer, you need to be clear about your money, your timing, and your most important features in a home.  Here’s how this breaks down.
You need to learn the truth about Short Sales, REOs and Residential Properties so you can make informed decisions about the offers you make and the approach you take.  Short Sales are unpredictable and have up front waiting periods while the bank considers your offer – it could be 2 – 6 months in some cases.  REOs are in unpredictable condition, often vacant for months and damaged inside and sometimes out. This could affect your budget if there are repairs that need to be made that the bank is unwilling to do.

You need to know that some homes in Boulder are being priced under market value in some cases – creating a feeding frenzy (multiple offers) similar to the chumming scene in Jaws.

Home mortgage interest rates are at an all time low – seriously, they have never been lower in the history of lending. Under 4% are you kidding me? It’s like banks are giving money away to QUALIFIED buyers – people with documented money already in the bank, and money coming in every month, and manageable re-payment obligations (commonly called debt.)

You’re probably not surprised to learn that you are not the only one looking for a great deal – there’s fierce competition for homes under $700K. And it may also shock you to learn that you’ve found a great deal if you can get 90% of what you are looking for in a home.  Regardless of the price range.  Honestly.

So let’s get busy – focus on all the right reasons to buy a home in today’s Boulder Real Estate Market – low low home prices, low low low interest rates, and 300+ days of sunshine every year.  Perfect!  Giddyup Let’s Go!

If you have questions about this article or anything Boulder TEXT or give me, Michael Hughes a call at 303-359-6627 and you can also visit my website or the Boulder MLS.

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A Short Sale before you’re 103 years old

By Michael Hughes  October 5, 2010

A short sale can take forever.  Currently of the roughly 50 million households in the U.S. 2.5 million are in foreclosure and 7.3 are delinquent.  A related number which encompasses many of these households are the 11 million homeowners who owe more than what their home is worth (“upside down or underwater”).  In order for these people to sell their house and move on they either have to come to the closing with money or negotiate with the bank who hold the mortgage to accept less than they owe (short sale).

Basically what a Short Sale is: A short sale is a sale of  Boulder real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property’s loan (mortgage).  It often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan on their house in Boulder county, but the lender decides that selling the property at a moderate loss is better than pressing the borrower into foreclosure. A short sale is better for the borrower because it does not impact them as severely (or nearly as long) as a foreclosure does. Both parties (lender and the owner) consent to the short sale process, because it allows them to avoid foreclosure, which involves hefty fees for the bank and poorer credit report outcomes for the borrowers. This agreement, however, does not necessarily release the borrower from the obligation to pay the remaining balance of the loan, known as the deficiency..

Owners View: These would be sellers are stuck.  They would like to (need to) sell but for any number of reasons (bought at the peak of the Boulder real estate market, negative amortizing loans, ARM’s, second loans, HELOC’s) they can’t find a buyer who will pay a price for their home and that will also pay off the existing loans and closing costs.  Convincing the lender is not an easy job to take less than they are owed.  First of all there must be a compelling hardship where the seller absolutely cannot keep up the payments nor come up with cash to close.
So they must have a proveable hardship (and write a letter in detail regarding what the hardship is). Once all of the documentation is complete a package including the sales contract signed by buyer and seller is sent to the bank for approval.   Oh and there may be multiple contracts in play so roll those dice. You may be one of up to 10 or more offers in play. This is the tough part, it takes patience.  It can take up to 6 or 7 months but usually no fewer than 8 weeks to get an answer from the bank.  If the short sale is approved and  the sale goes through at a lower amount,  the sellers credit is hurt (although not as bad as a foreclosure) and the bank still has the right to claim and try to collect a deficiency.

Buyers Perspective: Short sales provide a unique value opportunity. If you have the patience Job. Many times banks approve a price which is a great deal for the buyer.  The main downside for a buyer is the uncertainty.  The bank has the right to accept other offers so even if you were the first offer in to the bank, by the time they get around to reviewing it there may be multiple offers.  It might take two or more months to figure out that the bank will not approve the list price of the house.  Buying a short sale is not for someone who has a certain date in mind or is not willing to be patient while the weeks tick by without any word.  You must have patience to the 10th power.  You hear when you hear and the news is not always what you had hoped for.  For the right buyer it is a good opportunity but it is certainly not for faint of heart or those wishing to move in a certain time period.

These are some simple yet effective tips to help you understand what a short sale is and to help you evaluate if this is a fit for you. When you are ready to start – ask your Realtor for help!

If you have questions about this article or anything Boulder TEXT or give me a call anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sothebys International Realty=303-359-6627 or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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Is your House a Money Pit Nightmare!

By Michael Hughes    October 3, 2010

Are you having nightmares of your offer being accepted and waking up in a cold sweat because you see your bank account being depleted by this house you also affectionately know as “the money pit?” Your offer, if you’re going to buy house in Boulder will need to  include a Home Warranty Policy, paid for by the seller. This is also available for Bank Owned Properties. A home warranty is designed to cover the kinds of mechanical, plumbing and major appliance repairs that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t: clogged pipes, air conditioner or furnace failures, and appliances that go on the blink.   A Home Warranty plan offers peace of mind to home owners who are looking to avoid repair or replacement costs on a variety of household systems and appliances. Know your investment is safe and you will sleep like a baby at night instead of worrying if your purchase is a money pit.

In addition, because repairs and appliance or mechanical replacements can sometimes run into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars, your savings can be considerable when something goes wrong.  For the price of a service call, the policy will usually cover the entire cost of repairing or replacing the broken item and the seller pays for this coverage, of course not the nominal fee for the service call.  And you have the option each year to renew the policy and retain your peace of mind.

Just be aware, the basic policy covers the basic systems.  Work with your Realtor to make sure you have the proper coverage.  There is basic coverage and above and beyond that is coverage for you roof, pool, spa, built in refrigerator (like Sub-Zero) outdoor kitchen and  BBQ, washer, dryer, usually require an addition to the policy to be included in the coverage.  Check with the provider to understand your Options, Coverage and Prices.

If you have questions about this article or anything Boulder give me a call anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sothebys International Realty=303-359-6627 or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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