Category Archives: listing your property

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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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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Selling your home in Boulder…do you want to sell it or keep your pets happy?

By Michael Hughes  October 1, 2010

Are you trying to sell your home in Boulder? Does your house smell like dogs, cats or gerbels in any form?  Are cat boxes out? Has the dog made the backyard a non negotiable obstacle course? Clean it up!  Now! Is your home safe for buyers to be there, with your pets, when you are not there?

We all love our pets but a couple things every home seller must be brutally honest about – are my pets stinking up my home and making it hard for buyers to see or concentrate on my home? More specifically:

1. Are there pet stains on your carpet?

Does your house smell like dog pee, cat poop or hamster?  If it does, clean it up immediately, deodorize it or move it.  Have your carpets professionally cleaned or replaced.  Clean the cat box the backyard and the hamster cage daily!  This is not an option if you want to get your home sold.

2. Is your home safe for buyers to be there, with your pets, when you are not there? If the answer is Yes – you are good to go.

Your hamster is cozy in his cage and his wheel is well oiled with WD40.  Your cat is happy to nap on the bed and is not an escape artist ready to dart out any time the door opens.  You don’t have to make buyers wait for you to run home and get the pets ready.  As the saying goes time kills deals, even a little time and if the buyer can’t see the home it is soon forgotten.

If the answer is No, then consider the following.

Make a safe area in your home where you can temporarily confine your pet – so they are safe and visiting buyers are safe.  Crate your dog and confine your cat. Sometimes even cats attack surprised home buyers, check this out:

Of course we love our pets – But Potential Buyers May Not

If your pets are large, vicious, scared, overly affectionate, pee when visitors arrive, or have any behavioral or personality or physical characteristics that might put someone off, consider relocating them to a safe environment.  Perhaps your mother-in-laws house. Just temporarily,  until your home sells.   Put them in the laundry room, or in the kitchen with a baby gate.  Or in the backyard. Just think about how much easier it is buyers to see your home when it is convenient for them, rather than when it is convenient for your pet(s).

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

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Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down-Put it in the Contract!

Don't get caught with your Pants Down-Put it in the Contract!

By Michael Hughes  September 30, 2010

When you buy a house in Boulder, whatever you want kept in the house, cleaned, fixed, repaired, refinished, painted, pulled out, explained, or even permitted in the Boulder house you’re buying – put it in the contract or the Inspection Notice! Rule of thumb if it’s something you want; put it in the contract, if it’s something you need cleaned, removed, fixed or finished put it in the Inspection Notice (Notice to Correct).

The inspection is finished and whether you are the buyer or seller there may be a list of things that need to be addressed. When your Realtor creates a contract there is an Inspection Objection Deadline. This is not the deadline to have the inspection finished (it should have been finished earlier if possible) but is the date by which you must file an Inspection Notice. At this point you can decide to either check the box “Notice to Terminate” thereby terminating the contract or you can check the box “Notice to Correct” whereby you list the things you would like carpets cleaned, repaired, refinished, removed, etc.

Time to Negotiate!

Now, do some sellers automatically take care of cleaning the carpets, cleaning the floors, touching up the paint, filling in the nail holes when they take down their pictures?   Sure.  Sometimes.   But if it’s not in writing, you can’t count on it.  Sellers are only obligated to take care of the things that were in the contract or negotiated in the Inspection Notice.   That’s just reality.  If you don’t have it in writing you have to deal with it.

Put it in Writing – In the Contract or in the Inspection Notice

Dear other Agents, an email to me does not count as an amendment to the purchase contract or the Inspection Notice.  Never.  Never.  Never. Always present your clients’ requests on the appropriate  CREC form, with their signatures on it where required.  In the case of carpet cleaning, home cleaning, window cleaning, or tile cleaning – I would suggest to include these requests in the Inspection Notice-Notice to Correct.  Is the seller obligated to agree?  Absolutely not.  So you’d better put your marketing hat on and queue it up nicely for your buyer!  Make it as easy as possible for the seller to say yes and you increase your chances of getting it accepted.

First the Walk Through and then Closing. Always ask for invoices for repairs from professionals to be provided at closing. This will ensure that things have been done properly and by a professional or certified person.

You can’t always get what you want; or can you?

Here’s a short list of things that buyers have asked for up front, with their offer, and sellers have agreed to:

  • Home and carpets to be professionally cleaned prior to Closing.
  • The 200′ irrigation line and pump.
  • The oil painting in the dining room.
  • The 12’ Mirror with Gold Inlay
  • The custom made curtains, throw pillows, comforter, bed skirt and upholstered chair that match the mural in the little girl’s room.
  • The patio furniture all of it.
  • The kids play-ground sized redwood play set with swings and a slide.
  • The pot rack above the kitchen counter.
  • The family dog.  Oh Yeah.
  • And last but not least a BMW 535i in mint condition

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.  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.  Michael is a (CNE) a 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 a proven 16 year track record of selling unique Denver and Boulder luxury real estate.

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