Phone: 303-442-2448

Stellar Properties

Stellar Properties blog

Selling your home can be time-consuming, exhausting, and stress-inducing. This is especially true if you haven’t done this before. Strangers would drop by your house, check every nook and cranny, and then give criticisms about the house you’ve loved for decades.

All sellers have the ultimate goal of selling their property within a reasonable time frame and at a high profit. Considering how complicated the real estate market is, a lot of people commit mistakes.

Here are 3 major mistakes to avoid when selling a house. Follow these tips for a faster, smoother, and more gainful transaction.

Neglecting necessary repairs

Potential buyers are looking for properties that are in pristine and move-in ready condition. Given that these buyers have spent a small fortune for their new home, they aren’t willing to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars on repair. If you want to sell your home fast and for the highest price possible, we highly recommend that you tackle repairs. You want to make sure that your home is in mint condition before putting it on the market.


Most homeowners want to sell their house for top dollar. After all, it is your biggest asset. But when pricing your home for sale, please resist the urge to set a price that is higher than the market value.

Potential buyers do their research before committing to a property. They would search online, attend open houses and compare similar properties in order to find the best deal. It might be tempting to jack up the price by a few thousand dollars in the hopes of earning a higher profit, but overpricing will actually hurt your chances of selling. If your house lingers on the market for an extended period of time, people are likely to think that there is something wrong with the property. Eventually, you’ll be forced to lower the price.

Using lousy photos

Majority of home buyers start their search online. Since they haven’t seen your house in person, the only way for them to decide whether or not they like your house is through the photos that come with your listing.

While a smart phone takes decent photos, we highly recommend that you use digital camera or a DSLR to ensure that you come up with good quality photos. If you don’t have the skills to capture great photos, consider hiring a professional instead. Sure, it may cost you a few hundred dollars, but it will be worth the investment.

I've had a busy year this year, particularly with clients who need to sell and buy homes simultaneously. This scenario takes careful planning and execution. Here are some of the key elements to ensure that these transactions are successful:
  • Prepare Your Home to Sell: It is important that the house is fully prepared to go on the market so that the client can list the house immediately when they see a target home they want to buy. The sellers of their target home probably won't have much patience to wait for the buyer to get the home on the market, and may in fact require that the home is on the market in order to accept a contingent offer.
  • Research Neighborhoods: I advise my clients to perform as much research as possible on neighborhoods so that they are confident that the target neighborhood will meet their needs. It can be stressful for a client to do this research while being under contract on a house and working through the transaction of the sale of their home. 
  • Assess Days on Market and List Price Accurately: It is paramount that the "Days on Market (DOM)" assessment is accurate in order to be sure that the buyer's home for sale can truly sell in the time planned. The seller of the target home may ask for a report on the DOM data for the neighborhood of the client's home for sale. Therefore, the price has to be accurate. The time of year has to be considered as well and factored in when determining the estimated DOM and list price. These are often the key variables in making sure these transactions work.
  • Contingency Clauses: Both contracts have to be drafted carefully. The contracts have to have the appropriate and legal clauses necessary to protect the client's interests. An experienced Realtor knows how to balance the correct legal contingency clauses but also making sure the transactions are appealing to the other parties. This is an area where true professional agents stand out and protect their clients sufficiently.
  • Rent-backs: Successfully negotiating a rent-back scenario for the client's sale of their home is a key ingredient of making the simultaneous transactions less stressful. The rent-back negotiation may require giving in to some other contract terms and conditions, but sure will make life more enjoyable during the closing and move-out periods.
  • Communication: Effective communication is key to help clients understand all the moving parts, the risks, and the planning aspects of making this scenario work out satisfactorily. It's important that the two agents communicate effectively as well and work together as a team to make sure that the transactions work out well for all parties concerned. This is especially true when another simultaneous transaction is tied into one of the sides of the client's deal. This can make things even more interesting!
I have a great deal of experience and expertise in helping folks successfully navigate the simultaneous transaction process. If you know of anyone that needs a professional Realtor to guide them through this process, please put them in touch!

Being frugal and resourceful does not only apply to interior design, it can also be applied to home staging.

When people hear the word home staging, a dollar sign quickly comes to mind. Home staging may require some monetary investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. The trick is to spend only where it matters. Discover where you can save when staging your home and still get buyers lined up.

Don’t refinish the floor

Home buyers love hardwood floor. Some even consider it as an upgrade even if it isn’t in perfect shape. That being said, you don’t need to have it refinished. Sometimes, a few touch ups and a good cleaning is all you need to revive your floor. Just keep the money and spend it elsewhere.

Don’t paint the trim

When staging your home, you may need to paint the walls but there’s no need to paint the trim. If you do so, it will only require more money, time and effort. Plus, you can get more bang for your buck by painting the walls and skipping the trim.

Don’t buy new furniture

Just de-clutter your home and feel free to use whatever you have. You can also borrow a few things from a friend or a family member to make the room look more finished. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in.

For the master’s bedroom, all you need is a nicely dressed bed, throw pillows, a lamp and a side table.

Don’t buy new lights

If your light fixtures look dated, you don’t have to get rid of them. Instead of spending your money on new light fixtures, you can just paint them black. It will be an instant update with very little cash.

Don’t re-decorate your child’s room

Most home buyers, especially those with children, are expecting to see themed kid’s room. Some of them would even be glad that they don’t have to customize the room for their child.

This room will not have a huge impact on the buyer’s buying decision, so don’t bother redoing it.

If you have any questions or are looking to sell a home in Boulder County, please let me know! I'd love to help. 

Some sellers do not listen to their agents. If you are one of them, we would like to take this opportunity to tell you what your agent wants to say. The truth is, your agent can’t sell your house at the price you want unless it’s in pristine move-in condition.

So, if you are planning to sell your house, it would be best to depersonalize, declutter and add a fresh coat of paint before having your house listed. Also, steer clear of the biggest turn-offs listed below before potential buyers start to turn around and walk out of your door.


Home odors are usually on top of the home selling uh-oh list. If we are to narrow down the list, odors from pets and cigarette smoke would definitely take top billing.

For many, the smell of cigarette smoke would be a great deal breaker. Eradicate the odors so you can present your home to potential buyers with a fresh and clean atmosphere, not a house that’s sprayed with air freshener or perfume just to cover up the smell.

Dirty bathrooms

Dirty bathrooms are an instant turnoff. Make sure that toothpaste smears are wiped out of the sink and hair is out of the tub.

Buy a new shower curtain, paint the wall, scrub the floor, do whatever it takes to make it shine. If you want to sell your home fast, the extra work is a must.


While some people love dogs, they frighten some people and irritate others. If you are serious about selling your home, you’ll have to control your pets.

Putting them in a bedroom or the garage and asking buyers not to check on that area is definitely a bad idea. No one would be interested to buy a house they can’t inspect, right? If you can’t contain them in crates, it would be best to remove the pets during the showings

These days, "lack of inventory" is the most commonly used term in a local Realtor's vocabulary and it's causing quite a strain for many home buyers. 

Boulder housing inventory is down about 20 percent from this time last year and Longmont is down 30 percent. What makes these statistics so amazing is that last year was also a very low-inventory year. I have multiple sellers that are waiting to put their homes on the market until they see a home they would like to make an offer on.  

While this is a tough time for buyers, it is certainly a great time to sell! Sellers that have previously had a tough time selling a property because of an adjacent busy road, deferred maintenance or floor plan challenges have a great opportunity to sell in our current market conditions. 

If you know of anyone that has had a challenge selling their home in the past and are interested in talking to me, please ask them to drop me a line. I sincerely appreciate referrals!



Tony Martinez, Broker/Owner 
Stellar Service, Stellar Results!

Knowing a few things about the audience you’ll be marketing to is one of the most important aspects of home staging. If you decide to put your house on the market, you have to consider that the next owners of your house may probably be younger than you. So, you have to stop thinking about what you want in a home and start concentrating on the preferences of your potential buyers. 

Use warm, neutral colors 

If young professionals or young family are your target market, then it is best to stick with warm, neutral colors. The beige or gold wall color you chose 10 years ago may not be as appealing to this new group of home buyers. Using warm gray as a neutral wall color may allow potential home buyers to envision adding in clean-lined furnishings and accessorizing it with complementary colors. 

Stick with white cabinetry 

Majority of home buyers, especially those who are younger than 40, prefer white kitchen cabinets. This group of buyers may not be interested in seeing their mom’s dark kitchen cabinets in their new home. If you have dark kitchen cabinets, consider giving it a makeover by repainting it with orange or red undertones. 

Update your appliances 

Most young home buyers would be thrilled in buying a home that comes with stainless steel appliances. So, before putting your house on the market, consider upgrading your almond ones with stainless steel 

Stone or granite countertops 

Granite and stone countertops are a must-have for young buyers. While granite countertops are a great addition to the kitchen, this may not appeal to everyone. To be on the safe side, it is best to install a black countertop. This is a great choice, especially for picky buyers. 

Keep it simple 

This is especially true if young family with small children is your target market. Also, make sure that your house has no unfinished projects as this may be seen as a red flag for young families. Plus, these buyers are most likely looking for a house where they can move right in. 

The moment you decide to sell your property, it is important to make sure that it is in its best condition. In this article, we’ll help you prepare your house for selling. Follow this checklist and have a house that every client would be interested in buying.


First impressions sell houses! It is critical that potential buyers get that "good first impression". Even in a seller's market preparing your home for sale gives you a major advantage over your competition. A little attention to important details can make a big difference in a potential buyer's impression of your home. 

  • Start to think of your property as a marketable commodity.
  • Pack all personal items that aren't necessary for the remainder of your time in the house. Your home's buyer wants to visualize their own personal touches in place when they come to view. This is more difficult when you still have yours around. You are going to have to pack in the near future anyway, before putting your house on the market is a great time to pack family photographs, collectibles, trophies, souvenirs and ornaments.
  • Find a good place to store your packed personal items. Maybe a neighbor or relative close by will take care of them for a few weeks or renting temporary storage is a low cost option. Do not keep packed boxes in the house, you want to make it look as uncluttered and spacious as possible.
  • This is also a great time to remove, sell or throw out other items you are not planning to move to your new home. Make sure every room in the home, including basements, closets, attics and garages are clean, tidy and clutter free. Your movers are going to charge to move all those things you have collected over the years but don't really use. Save money, time and effort by sorting them out now.
  • Once you have packed your personal items and cleaned out the junk and clutter it's time to review the condition of your house. It is very difficult for any home owner to have an objective view. Ask me to come and review your home for you. I will point out areas that need painting or repairing if they are going to make a material difference to how quickly or for how much your home will be sold.
  • Don't spend huge sums of money remodeling. Remember, you have no way of knowing what the next owners will like and dislike. However, there are a few basic items which are proven problem areas that you may need to take care of. Below is a list of things you should review and where necessary change.
Interested in more ideas of how to get your home to sell click here. Or can also contact Tony any time.

Currently sellers are in a better position to sell than they have been in many years. Single Family Home sales are up 16 percent this quarter compared to Q1 2012 and Attached Dwellings are up 18 percent. Lack of inventory is still the predominant factor affecting buyers. It is a seller's market at this point in the Boulder County area. 

A Note to Sellers

Homes that are priced well and are in areas with high demand are attracting multiple offers. Homes that are overpriced and/or are in poor condition are remaining on the market longer. A phenomena results in which buyers wonder why the property is taking so long to sell. This condition results in the home being on the market even longer and a stigma begins to build. My advice to sellers is that it makes sense to “test” the market some, but it’s important not to get greedy as stale listings begin to hold a stigma. 

Some Statistical Highlights from Q1 2013

  • Total Single Family Residences sold rose dramatically in Erie (40%) and Longmont (36%) with average sales prices up 15 percent and 16 percent respectively.

  • Average Days to Contract for Single Family Homes is down about 50% for Boulder, Broomfield, and Superior. For sellers this means they are getting their homes under contract quickly!

  • Median sales prices are stable, with the exception of significant increases in Erie (14%), Lafayette (13%) and Longmont (16%). 

If you are considering selling you home this may be the right time. The inventory is low, interest rates of low, buyers are hungry for homes, and houses are going under contract in record time! If Stellar Properties can be of help give me a call at 303-886-4065 or email Tony