This is a complete guide to sell your house FSBO (For Sale by Owner) in Colorado. So if you want to learn about FSBO you are in the right place. We cover all things FSBO in Colorado including:
- How to prep and price your house
- Showing and negotiating with potential buyers
- PROS and CONS of FSBO
Let’s dive in, shall we?
At any time if you would like to talk a legitimate cash buyer in Colorado click the “No obligation cash offer button” below. As a Colorado company, we will highlight all your options to sell.
This Is How You Sell Your House FSBO in Colorado (For Sale By Owner)
Selling your house FSBO in Colorado has a number of benefits including:
- You get to reduce the real estate commissions by 50%
- You choose the list price
- You are in control of the entire selling process
However, on the flip side there are some things that may create stress like:
- Did you list your house correctly to get the most cash?
- Do you have the time to make repairs, show the house and negotiate with potential buyers?
- What are the legal requirements in Colorado when selling your house on your own?
Wondering what to do to sell your house in Colorado by yourself?
How to FSBO: We have all the answers right here...
… so that you can sell your house with peace of mind.
I didn’t mean to scare you. However selling a house in Colorado, is a large financial transaction. I want to make sure you understand the process.
If you understand everything about selling by your self you will avoid costly mistakes AND thats a good thing, right?
So what’s the first step?
Table of Contents
How does for sale by owner work in Colorado?
Colorado: FSBO or for sale by owner is a method in which the home-owner sells a property by themselves. The owner does not use a realtor to help them at all. The owner makes all the decisions from the start to the finish.
There are some obvious benefits to this strategy.
Benefits to selling FSBO in CO
FSBO pros in Colorado
THE SELLER PAYS LESS COMMISSION WHEN SELLING FSBO IN COLORADO
If you sell your house FSBO you won’t have to pay your agent a commission. This is because you won’t have an agent. This will save you 3% of the price you sell your house for.
For example, selling a $500,000 home on your own in Denver will save you $15,000 in realtor commissions. That’s a lot of cash!
COMPLETE CONTROL OVER YOUR COLORADO LISTING
FSBO means you manage the listing. You choose what you will list the house for, you get to write the description including why people should buy your home and you decide where to spend the money to market the house
YOU DECIDE WHEN TO SHOW YOUR COLORADO HOME I.E. COMPLETE CONTROL OVER ALL SHOWINGS
When you sell your Colorado house to another person you will no doubt have to let them see it. When using the FSBO method you get to set the schedule of all showings.
This means you’ll never be caught off guard by an inconvenient or last-minute appointment set by your real estate agent.
Downside to selling your house by yourself in Colorado
CONS to Selling on Your own in Colorado
FSBO COULD END UP SELLNG FOR LESS MONEY
Generally speaking, when you sell your house using a realtor in Colorado you will sell it for a bigger number. A bigger number doesn’t always equate to more profit (remember, NO seller commissions).
There are many reasons why a Colorado agent may get you a higher sale price. Maybe its their local expertise. For example a local may understand the difference between Lakewood, Arvada, Cherry Creek and Montbello house prices.
Alternatively a Colorado realtor may know the best resources to use to market your house. Should you put it on the Colrado MLS or in the Denver post? Maybe they know of specific Facebook groups like “People who are looking to buy a house in Denver County or Jefferson County”
Who knows if those groups exist? Well, maybe a realtor, right?
A Colorado realtor may have other network connections that may help with the sale too.
GETTING YOUR HOUSE INFRONT OF COLORDAO BUYERS TAKES TIME AND MONEY (MARKETING YOUR HOUSE)
When you sell without an agent, getting your listing in front of potential buyers is entirely up to you. That means you’ll need to juggle getting your home listed online, marketing it via social media, printing flyers and brochures, and thinking up other ways to get buyers through the door.
NO MATTER WHAT STATE YOU ARE IN MANAGING A LISTING IS LABOR-INTENSIVE
Colorado houses are very desirable and you should expect to get a lot of calls from potential buyers and their agents.
Between answering calls, scheduling showings and coordinating open houses, it can be very time-consuming to manage your Colorado listing on your own — and that’s before you even receive an offer.
YOU MAY BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO MISTAKES IF YOU SELL ON YOUR OWN
If this is your first time selling a house in Colorado by yourself then you may be susceptible to making mistakes. And when there is so much money involved a small mistake can be costly!
For example maybe you set the list price to low and leave money on the table OR on the flip side if you list your home for too much it may sit and go stagnant.
IN COLORADO YOU MAY STILL HAVE TO PAY A LISTING AGENT COMMISSION
Even if you don’t have your own agent to pay in Colorado, it’s standard practice that the seller pays the buyer’s agent’s commission (if they’re using an agent). And it’s very common for the person purchasing your house to use an agent. Some research suggests roughly 75% of all buyers will have an agent when they buy a house in Colorado.
How to set the list price when selling FSBO
We all want to get the most cash when we sell our house in Colorado, right?
We want the buyer to give us top dollar. We don’t want to leave anything on the table. So naturally, we should list the house high, right???
Setting the price high, or overpricing, is a common, and costly mistake, many FSBO’ers make. Setting the list price too high often leads to increased time on the market and leads to a price cut.
Conversely, if you come to market with a fair price you will receive interest from more buyers and ultimately receive more offers, more quickly. AND this ultimately leads to selling your house fast, or at least faster.
It has been showing that when a house sits for too long it becomes stagnant. At this point even if you reduce the price a lot, it still might not sell.
Because now buyers think there is something really wrong with it. I mean why else has it sat on the MLS for more than 90 days?
According to research, 57 percent of homes sold at their list price, or higher, if they accepted an offer within 7 days. In the second week, roughly 25% of houses sell for list or higher, and it’s even lower in the 3rd week.
So, that makes understanding what your house is worth very important.
Also, in Colorado, you must consider that you can sell faster and for more money during the peak selling time for your local real estate market. Do your research to find out which part of the year is best in your area. Nationally, it’s the first two weeks in May, where listed homes sold almost two weeks faster than average and for $2,500 more, compared to average points in the year.
Depending on where your house is located in Colorado will depend on which time of year is best to list. For example, if you are selling a condo in Vail, or another one of Colorado’s ski resorts, you may want to list it in the wintertime to get the best price.
If you are selling a house on the eastern side of Denver, say in Aurora, or Green Valley Ranch, and it does not have AC or a swamp cooler you may want to list it in the spring. Not in the hot dry months of a Denver summer. Does that make sense?
If working with a Colorado realtor, they’ll usually guide you toward finding a good listing price by using a comparative market analysis (CMA). But if you want to sell your home without an agent, you’ll need to run your own comps.
Make sure the comparable homes you’re using are similar to your home in terms of size, location, and quality. If your house is in Westminster then the houses you are comparing to must be as well.
Pull comps from an area as close to your home as possible — within your neighborhood is best.
Only use homes that are sold in the last few months — three months ideally, but no more than six.
Always search for homes that have recently sold in Colorado. Never use asking prices of homes that are on the market, because they don’t reflect actual home values — they reflect what the seller thinks their home is worth.
Get an appraisal to determine the value of your house in Colorado
There are many legitimate appraisers in Colorado and using one might be a good idea. Particularly if you are new to FSBO. In Colorado, expect to pay a professional appraiser between $300 to $600. This will help you avoid the costly mistake of listing too high or too low.
An appraiser will walk through your home, then consider local Colorado market trends, recent comps, and details about your home to estimate its value.
But even if you have your own appraisal done, your buyer (and their lender) will still likely require a new appraisal as part of the contract process, and that appraisal is paid for by the buyer. In fact, when selling your house to a buyer that is using a loan it is a Colorado rule that an appraisal is done.
Get an offer from Watson Buys.
Watson Buys is a local cash for houses company. We buy houses directly from homeowners for cash. We purchase Colorado houses as-is, without a realtor and therefore there are no commissions. So with us, you save 6% or $30,000 on that $500,000 single-family house in Denver you just sold to us.
If you would like to talk about selling to us simply fill out the form and one of our specialists will be in touch. Selling to us is easier. You don’t have to list it at all. No showings, no repairs. You don’t even have to clean up! When we buy houses in Colorado we do absolutely everything for you! Read reviews and testimonials on how Watson Buys houses to better understand why we are Colorado’s best cash buyer.
How to get your house ready to sell in Colorado
Giving your Colorado house some TLC before listing is an important step, whether you’re going the for-sale-by-owner route or selling with an agent. Simply put, you’ll want your house to look perfect before listing so you can get as much money as possible out of it.
Here is a simple checklist that works for all types of property in Colorado
Clean your Colorado house thoroughly:
Colorado winters have snow, snow leads to mud, grit, grime, and mag chloride from those CDOT snow plows. In summer on the front range, we get dust storms.
So no matter what season you decide to sell give your home a deep cleaning. Shampoo carpets, scrub tile, wash the windows, and make every nook and cranny shine.
Declutter your Colorado house:
If you haven’t used it for a year, get rid of it. Are there several pairs of skis just thrown in a corner of your garage? Either sell them o rent a self-storage to get them out of the house.
Put personal items like family photos and keepsakes in storage, remove knickknacks, and pare down on personal belongings to make your home’s storage space look ample — don’t just shove everything in a closet!
Staging in Colorado Works:
You can get a professional stager or use some of your own furniture to make every space look roomy, organized, and nicely decorated. You might also want to consider a fresh coat of neutral paint on the interior.
Everyone in Colorado has a pet…. Make plans for them and their toys:
When was the last time you visited a friend’s house only to be greeted by a stinky litter box or musty dog smell?
A buyer on a tour shouldn’t be able to tell that a pet lives in your home. Vacuum regularly, remove pet waste, tuck away your pet’s belongings before a showing, and arrange for your pet to be elsewhere during all showings.
Colorado has a lot of natural light but it doesn’t hurt to add more:
Cleaning dirty windows following a Denver winter is one way to let in more light. You can do it yourself or find a local window cleaner online.
Make sure your home has plenty of light in every room. Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light, replace bulbs, add lamps where necessary, and use mirrors to bounce light.
Buyers in Colorado will expect certain things to be fixed:
Colorado buyers expect a certain level of “move-in readiness” so it doesn’t matter if you are selling as the owner or with an agent, you will have to fix things. In fact, the only way to completely avoid making repairs is selling to a legitimate We Buy Houses company like Watson Buys.
Don’t go overboard and do a full remodel or renovation. That said there are some easy-to-fix things that will make a world of difference.
A fabulous pro tip from a Colorado real estate expert is: “Once you are ready to list your house go outside to the mailbox with pen and paper. Walk from there into your house and note down the first 10 items you see that bother you. Fix these as there is a really good chance they will bother any potential buyer too.”
Curb appeal matters to buyers in Colorado:
The exterior of a house in Colorado will be the first thing a buyer sees upon arriving at the home for a tour. That’s just obvious, right?
Walk around your property and make a list of landscaping items that need attention. Clean up the flower beds, do some weeding, mow the lawns, and spread some mulch. These are all things that experienced realtors will want you to do. Now you know!
A final word on preparing your house in Colorado to sell FSBO
You will be letting a number of random people into your house. While it is important to be kind, and not discriminate, it always pays to be prudent. Therefore I suggest putting away anything of value including medication, cash, or jewelry. If you have expensive mountain bikes in the garage (as many of us Colorado residents do) you may want to store them off property, at a friend’s house, or in a secure storage facility.
It’s important to market and advertise when selling a house in Colorado
Colorado agents that are experienced will get your place in front of a lot of potential buyers. If you want to sell your house fast then you need potential buyers to know it’s for sale, right?
If selling by yourself you need to access as many avenues as possible. These days there are services that allow you to pretty much equally access the places a Colorado realtor can list your place. For example, you could list your house on the MLS in Colorado for $500 or less.
To sell a house by yourself successfully you’ll have to get it in front of as many people, and as quickly, as possible. Do this and you will get good buyers and great offers fast.
Hire a professional photographer to capture the beauty of your Colorado property.
The real estate market in Colorado is online. There is no doubt that potential buyers log in and search for homes on the internet. This means you must have great photos.
Now while we all think we produce professional-grade photos, WE DON’T!!!
Finding a real estate photographer that understands Colorado is key. Great photos are so important,, in-fact over 75% of people who bought a house in Colorado in the past year said that the photos absolutely influenced their decision! Professional photos can cost a few hundred dollars, which is money well-spent to entice potential buyers to come for a tour.
Craft an engaging listing description that suits a Colorado buyer
Easy access to Colorado’s ski resorts, OR Walk to Coors fields and Downtown Denver!
After photos, the next thing a buyer turns to is the description. That makes the description just as important. Include keywords that a buyer might be looking for. Call out things like access to certain neighborhood icons, or facilities.
When writing a description for your house in Colorado include:
- Basic information, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the square footage
- Your home’s best features, like hardwood floors or quartz countertops
- Neighborhood features, like proximity to public transportation, parks, and schools
Distribute signs and ads if your Colorado neighborhood allows it
If you plan to put a sign up on the street corner make sure you check with Denver City or the appropriate local government agency. If you don’t you may end up getting a fine. While not a huge mistake it is still a mistake that you can easily avoid when selling.
Physical signage helps neighbors know your home is for sale so they can spread the word. It can also engage passersby.
Other places you can promote your Colorado house includes:
Post ads on Denver Craigslist.
Post listings on Facebook
Share your listing on neighborhood and community pages
Tell friends, neighbors, coworkers, and community members that you’re selling.
Take out a print ad if you’re in a market where many people read a specific local magazine or newspaper.
You must list on the Colorado MLS when selling by yourself
It is possible to list your house on the Colorado MLS even if you sell your house without an agent. If you get it on the MLS in Colorado every agent will be notified that your house is for sale.
PRO TIP FOR THE NOVICE FSBO SELLER: “If you want agents to bring you a buyer you must let them know you are willing to pay a commission for that. I suggest you make a note in the comments that only agents will see that you are prepared to pay a 3% commission. If you need to sell your house fast then maybe offer 3.5% or more. Just a thought.
The Colorado MLS is the largest and most accurate database of for-sale homes. To gain access to it search online for a Colorado flat fee listing service or something similar to that.
Here are the two main ways for sale-by-owner listings can end up on the MLS.
COLORADO FLAT FEE LISTING SERVICES:
In some areas, when doing a home sale by owner, you can pay an agent a few hundred dollars to list your home on the MLS, but that is the extent of their services. They’ll still put your name and information as the point of contact for showings and offers; the listing is simply originated under their name.
HIRE A DISCOUNT BROKER THAT IS LICENCED TO OPERATE IN COLORADO
In Colorado, you can find multiple services that will charge roughly 1% of the sale price. Discount brokers will handle some, but not all, of the tasks a traditional full-service agent would. Some of the things they may take care of include:
- They’ll manage to get your home on the MLS
- Take photos and schedule showings.
That’s said you won’t get anywhere near the same level of service that you would receive if you hired a licensed Colorado real estate agent.
Typically discount services work in a group. This means you may have to repeat yourself several times when listing or organizing any part of the sales process.
Be sure to read the fine print when taking on a discount broker in Colorado. You need to be sure what they will, and will not, do for you and your house.
Fake it till you make it when selling a house on your own in Colorado
Act like a real estate professional to give confidence to those sitting across from you (i.e the buyer and their agent)
In Colorado, it’s common for buyers to be hesitant to work with an owner selling their home on their own. This is because many buyers in CO expect the FSBO seller to be inexperienced. This can lead to a slow sales process or maybe the deal falling through completely.
Also, some Colorado buyers’ agents may try to steer their buyers away from an FSBO, dreading that they’ll end up having to coach the seller through the process and do twice the work for any commission. Therefore, when selling a house in Colorado FSBO it’s up to you to show that you know how to close the deal.
Some things that go a long way to proving you understand how to get a house sold include:
- Answer calls, no matter the time. Good agents work in the evenings and on weekends because that’s when buyers are shopping.
- Be flexible with showings. Buyers and their agents may request showings without much prior notice. Try to be as accommodating as possible — the more people that tour your home, the more likely you are to get a buyer. If juggling showing schedules becomes a burden, consider using a lockbox.
Take feedback seriously to get your Colorado house sold.
If someone doesn’t like your house, if they don’t give you an offer, finding out why is very important. If you find out why then maybe you can correct that particular issue before the next person sees your house. Some common errors feedback may highlight when selling FSBO in Colorado include:
- House price is too high
- The condition isn’t the same as other neighborhood properties
- Your Colorado curb appeal is average at best
Try not to be offended by the feedback. Use it as an opportunity to make changes that will help you sell your house successfully.
Don’t take criticism personally
Hearing criticism from buyers in Colorado about your home can seem hurtful. Do not let it get under your skin. Remember, you are a real estate PRO! Take the negative comments and turn them into valuable feedback. While you might love your house not everybody has the same taste AND that’s ok
Don’t let your Colorado house sit on the market longer than normal
If your house has been on the market longer than the average time to get an offer in Colorado you need to act fast. The most obvious thing you can do is reduce the price you are trying to get. The feedback we mentioned earlier may be a good place to find out the price is too high.
Do not be discouraged however as you are in the company of many other homes that the owner is trying to sell without a realtor. Some research suggests that almost 30% of sellers have to make a downward price adjustment.
Do open houses work when selling your house by yourself in Colorado?
In my humble opinion, open houses are for realtors to attract potential future customers. Many times I have participated in an open home in Colorado and the only people that have turned up are the nosey neighbors. old an open house
That said, in Colorado, open houses are another way to get buyers into your home. If you want to sell your house fast then you should do everything possible.
Of course, when doing an open house in Colorado, if you want people to show up you must advertise the details of the open house. Also, make sure your house is putting its best foot forward by being clean. Another pro tip would be to offer refreshments to potential buyers.
Qualify all buyers in Colorado to avoid a costly mistake
Ensure your safety and that you have qualified Colorado buyers by doing a few simple things.
While you’re probably eager to sell your house fast in Colorado and to get potential buyers through the door, make sure you take a few precautions to stay safe.
It doesn’t matter if it is a private showing or an open house, it’s best practice to take down details of the potential buyer and their agent. Take a photo of their Colorado driver’s license or some other government-issued id.
It is prudent to have a record of everyone who has toured the house. If you let people know in advance that this is a requirement you will filter out any “looky-loos” and only have to deal with serious buyers.
Another way to qualify a buyer in Colorado is to require a lender from a company that lends in Colorado (not all banks do write mortgages for property in Colorado).
If you are working with a person that will be paying cash or a Colorado company that buys houses for cash you can ask for proof of funds. A simple bank statement could suffice.
While not a guarantee, it is another hurdle most scam buyers can be filtered out.
Hire a real estate attorney that is licensed in Colorado
When selling a house FSBO in Colorado some of the best money you can spend is by hiring a real estate attorney. Of course, they must be licensed to practice in Colorado.
Colorado real estate transactions are famous for their many pages of paperwork. This is somewhere you can make a costly mistake very easily. In Colorado, or in any state for that matter, if you’re selling FSBO, it’s a good idea to hire a real estate attorney to review all documents, especially disclosure statements.
Never say never. FSBO might not be for you
Don’t rule out an agent, even if you started out FSBO.
The Colorado real estate scene is very competitive and selling a house FSBO is not easy. The list of things that you need to keep track of include:
- Prepping the house for sale
- Listing it on the Colorado MLS or other places
- Marketing and advertising with appropriate CO businesses and organizations
- Showings, contracts, negotiations, legalities, and the closing process!
That’s a lot of things to do if you take the For Sale By Owner route.
Don’t be too proud to admit that it has got too difficult partway through. Remember, you have a completely different full-time job. You probably wouldn’t expect a realtor to be able to do that nearly as well as you can, right?
If you start out FSBO in Colorado and hit a snag you can always turn to an experienced Colorado agent. As long as you are willing to pay the commission I have no doubt they would be willing o sell your house for you.
An experienced agent local to your Colorado town can provide insights, data, and expertise to help you find the right listing price and sell quickly.
FSBO versus AGENT versus Cash Buyer
Selling to a company that buys house for cash is another great option.
There are 3 main ways to sell a house in Colorado and we have talked and compared FSBO and real estate agents.
But what about selling to we buy houses company?
At WatsonBuys.com we have helped answer questions from many fellow homeowners about selling a house in Colorado. As a company that specializes in buying houses, in any condition, anywhere in Colorado we know we can help you too.
If you would like to talk more about selling your house then simply fill out the form or give us a call. We are happy to chat about your plans FREE of any obligation whatsoever.