For Sellers

The Home Selling Process:

The Home Selling Process


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7 Reasons Why You Should List Your House With Manitou Springs Real Estate

  1. We have been around since 2001! We are the longest lasting real estate company in Manitou Springs. We are trusted for our reputation of integrity and the personal attention we give to each client.
  2. We have excellent exposure! Our gorgeous office at 727 Manitou Ave is right in the heart of town and we have a large storefront window where we display all the flyers for our active listings. The foot traffic is amazing and we are open on Saturdays as well.
  3. We KNOW Manitou Springs! All of our agents either live in Manitou Springs or Old Colorado City. Our Manitou agents have been here for a long time and have family roots in the area. We know the history, the geography, the politics, the zoning, the weather, the upsides and the downsides. Our kids go to/have gone to the local schools; we shop and eat here; hike and play here, and we have undoubtedly been in most of the houses in town.
  4. We are a team effort! No lone rangers here – we have a close-knit team of six agents and 3 support staff who all work together to give you the best service possible. When one agent is busy, there is always another who can lend a hand to show a property, give information, etc. There is always someone to greet you at the front desk and your phone calls will always be answered and returned – 7 days a week. (By a real person!)
  5. We give back to the community! All of us are committed to showing support and appreciation to our town. When you buy or sell a home through MSRE, you are indirectly helping us give back as well. Our agents and staff contribute a portion of their sales commission to a donation fund. From that fund, we have given tens of thousands of dollars to help local schools, seniors programs, arts programs, charities, and other organizations right here in the community.
  6. We have something for everyone! Not sure what type of agent would best suit your needs? We have six different personalities and areas of expertise that you can choose from. Looking for an eco-aware, green housing agent? We’ve got one! Needing an agent who knows millennials? Ditto. How about an agent who is skilled in helping elderly people through the home buying & selling process? We’ve got one of those too! An agent who knows historic houses? Yep, we’ve got a few of those.
  7. We offer home pre-inspections at no charge to you! The inspection is offered free of charge to any of our current seller clients who have signed a listing contract with one of our agents. Having a property pre-inspected paves the way for a much smoother deal because there is less chance of an inspection surprise for both the sellers and buyers. Also, we use “pre-inspected home” in the marketing of your property to give your listing an edge.

Manitou Springs Real Estate is your expert hometown team in every possible way. We love what we do and where we live. That’s why our slogan is:

Fell in love with Manitou? So did we!


Another reason why you should list your home with us: Our extensive social media marketing strategy

Manitou Springs Real Estate has an aggressive social media marketing campaign which gives us a leading edge in the industry. MSRE employs 4 people who update and monitor our social media accounts seven days a week. We can respond to on-line inquiries faster than other local real estate companies and we can post new listings as soon as they come available.

A keystone of our social media strategy is boosting posts on Facebook. “Post boosting” is offered free of charge to home sellers who list their homes with us.

Here’s how it works: we will write a description of your property and post 5-10 photos and a link to the listing on our website. We will then pay to boost the post on Facebook to ensure better reach so more people see and interact with the post. Post boosting increases the exposure of a post by thousands of viewers. For example, a non-boosted post may only reach 150 people, but a boosted post can reach upwards of 3000-5000 people.

We are also proud to note that we have over 1,800 followers on Facebook, and we are the number 1 most visited Manitou Springs real estate page.

Facebook post boosting is just one prong of our social media strategy to get your house the most exposure possible. We also post all new properties on our Google+ account so your listing with Manitou Springs Real Estate will show more prominently in Google searches. We also re-post to Twitter, one of the world’s largest real-time, publicly visible sites.

We have a newly redesigned website with enhanced mobile-friendly design and an information blog (where you are reading this post!) Our website also features a function for personalized searches which display mapped listings.
If you want a real estate company with the leading edge in social media marketing, Manitou Springs Real Estate is your team! And remember, we don’t just serve Manitou Springs, we cover the ENTIRE Pikes Peak region.

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As mentioned above, MSRE offers FREE home Pre-inspections for our sellers

Why Have a Pre-Inspection?

At Manitou Springs Real Estate, we offer to pay for a pre-inspection by a professional home inspector for our listings.

Here’s why:

Virtually every real estate sale deal involves an inspection. Although it is optional, most buyers choose to do one, and of those that choose to, the majority will hire a professional inspector. The reason buyers want to have an inspection is pretty obvious—to find out if there is anything going on with the property that they might want to fix later, ask the seller to fix now, or that would make them back out of the contract.

But why would the sellers want a pre-inspection? Sometimes there are things that come up in the inspection that the sellers weren’t aware of and then there is a scramble to get estimates, make insurance claims, and/or get repairs done before the closing. Knowing about any issues ahead of time gives the sellers more time to do the research and think about what they want to do. The sellers don’t have to agree to fix everything that comes up on the pre-inspection, but at least they are forewarned about any potential issues.

When Manitou Springs Real Estate pays for the pre-inspection, we are only using inspectors with good reputations—in fact, we use the same inspectors that we have on the list we give to our buyer clients. But, that doesn’t mean the buyers for our listings have to use our inspection–they can always choose to pay for their own inspection.

As you can see, having a property pre-inspected paves the way for a much smoother deal. There is less chance of an inspection surprise for both the sellers and buyers, and the buyers might even have some of the issues addressed before they make an offer. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. Although it’s not a solution for everyone or every property, it is a free* and valuable part of the service we offer to our clients if they wish to take advantage of it.

*The inspection is offered free of charge to any of our current clients who have signed a listing contract with one of our agents. If Manitou Springs Real Estate pays for a pre-inspection and the seller of that property cancels the listing contract, opts to go with another real estate agency, or decides to market the property as for sale by owner, the fee for the pre-inspection must be reimbursed to Manitou Springs Real Estate in full.

Manitou Springs Real Estate is a licensed real estate firm in the state of Colorado.


How to impress potential buyers: prepping your home for sale

If you are selling your house, or thinking of selling your house sometime soon, consider the following steps to make your house spiffy and show-ready.

1. Curb appeal
Plant those colorful flowers and spread some new mulch for color and texture. Polish the windows. Freshen up the front door with new paint. Clean up all twigs and debris. Make it sparkle.

2. Clean the house within an inch of its life
Can’t stress this one enough! Potential buyers get grossed out and turned off if there is sticky jam smeared on the counter tops, or toothpaste gobs in the sink and a one inch layer of dog fur on the hardwood floors. If you are unable to clean, then hire a professional to do a day’s worth of deep cleaning. Before showings, you can do a quick swipe over the countertops and make sure the toilet lid is closed!

3. De-clutter
Take away all excess junk from the floors, dressers, tables, and bathroom and kitchen counter tops. Put appliances like toasters and juicers out of sight (unless they are pretty and vintage). Make sure there are clear paths so the buyers can get into the attic or basement, and don’t forget the garage. If you can afford it, rent a storage unit for $50-$100/month and pack away all excess junk until you move. Neat and orderly is a lot more appealing to home buyers than cluttered and chaotic.

4. De-personalize
Take down all your personal photos – from the walls AND the fridge. If you have your kids’ names on their doors or on banners in their rooms, take those down too so potential buyers can have a blank slate in which to picture themselves and their children in the space.

5. Make it cozy
You want to make the home feel somewhat generic so anyone could envision themselves there, but you also want it to feel comfortable and livable. Open the blinds to let some daylight in! Make sure the temperature inside the home is not too hot, or not too cold (around 68-70 degrees F) For open houses, light a fire if you have a working fireplace. Fresh flowers are also a nice touch. It’s even better if you can pick them from your own garden!

6. Nice aroma, or no aroma
Some home sellers bake cookies or pies before a showing. Some burn scented candles or incense before a showing. Some spray a ton of air freshener. But home staging experts advise that NO smell is best in case a potential buyer has allergies or an aversion to a certain scent. Rule of thumb: unless there is an unpleasant smell to cover up (like soiled kitty litter), keep the air neutral and fresh.

7. Put garbage outside and out of sight
Nothing stinks up a room – or a house – more than a full can of garbage. Make sure you run the garbage out to the toter or dumpster before any showings to get rid of all those unwanted odors. If you can’t take the garbage outside of your dwelling, make sure it is out of sight. Alternatively, you could tie up the garbage bag.

8. Leave history books out
If your house is old and has a history of which you have record, leave the documents and historic photos out on display on a table or counter where potential buyers can view them. They will be thrilled to see a glimpse into the home’s past and appreciate the attention to detail. If your home has architectural drawings or even just a blue-print or plans for an addition, put those out for potential buyers to view as well. They will welcome the sharing of information. Another option is to display neighborhood information or historic books about the town/area.

9. Pets (and sellers) need to disappear

Pets are great but nobody wants a territorial dog snarling at them when viewing a potential home. Keep the dogs away from the house if possible during showings. Prospective buyers want to be able to see every room and every part of the yard to help them make a decision, so taking the pets with you or securing them in a crate before you leave is important. Perhaps a neighbor can let the dog out before a showing if you are away or at work. Also critical (and this almost goes without saying): home owners need to vacate the premise for showings. There are few things more awkward and daunting than an eager home owner hovering nearby when you are trying to examine your future home.

10. Winter: shovel; Summer: sweep
Winter shoveling is a no-brainer – if you have time before those last minute showings. You need to keep clear access to the property for safety reasons and it will look better kept if the walkways are clear of snow and ice. On the flip side, in summer, spring and fall, you may need to do a quick broom sweep of the porch or entryway before each showing to get rid of cobwebs, pollen, dust or leaves.

These points are a lot to remember so some homeowners find it helpful to create a checklist to keep them on track in those hurried minutes before a showing.

You can contact any agent from Manitou Springs Real Estate for a more personalized on-site evaluation of how to prep your home to be show-ready.


What you need to know if you are selling a house with a septic system

Are you preparing to sell a house located in El Paso County that has a septic system? For sellers, it’s important to know that the rules changed in 2015 so the experience you had when you bought your home may be different from when you go to sell it.

Here is some need-to-know information for sellers about how to properly transfer title on a property with a septic system (OWTS):

The property needs an “Acceptance Document” or a “Conditional Acceptance Document” from El Paso County Public Health Department in order to transfer title at closing.

The property must be inspected by an El Paso County Public Health certified OWTS inspector which can be found on the county website: http://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/services/site-wastewater-treatment-systems

  • Who orders and pays for the inspection is negotiable.
  • The cost starts at around $250.00 for an inspection but varies by company and location.
  • The inspection company will need a copy of the site plan and permit which is typically accessible through the El Paso County Assessor’s website.

After the company inspects the property the company has 3 business days to submit the report to the county.

The agent or seller will then need to go online to apply for an Acceptance Document which costs $65.00. The county then has 5 business days to issue an Acceptance Document.

If the septic tank has a deficiency the owner MUST fix the problem within 90 days even if the contract falls through (sooner if it’s an imminent health problem).

» The Public Health Department will issue a conditional acceptance document, provided that the purchaser of the property, or the assigned agent, agrees to obtain a permit and complete all necessary repairs to the OWTS within 90 days of occupancy of the structure.

The Acceptance Document is valid for 6 months or closing date, whichever is soonest. (It’s also possible to get a one-time extension for 6 months.)

It may sound daunting but you can contact any of our experienced agents to guide you through the process.