It’s easy to dismiss the effective best practices of selling a Denver neighborhood home in this market — buyer demand is sky-high, inventory is low (especially for homes in the sub-$1 million range) and Denver keeps booming.

Sellers (and me as a listing agent) primarily want two things: to sell their home for top dollar in the shortest amount of time. Two slightly subsidiary considerations are convenience (not many showings, prep work needed) and few if any repairs.

Despite the overriding generalization that sellers don’t have to do anything — just sit back and let the offers roll in — they shouldn’t be fooled. That. Is. Just. Not. True.

And for sellers at higher price points, that’s doubly the case — the general feel is that we’re in an overheated real estate market. While still hot, the temperature is a bit lower at the higher end. Higher-end homes also are appreciating at lower rates than their sub-$1 million counterparts.

With that, I want to give you five secrets for successful Denver neighborhood homeselling. Check your home value here!

Don’t believe the hype – a tale of two price points

First things first. Don’t believe the media hype. Home prices are jumping in all price points, but if you’re in a Denver urban neighborhood — your home is likely pushing the $1 million price barrier — your home likely isn’t appreciating at the same rate as lower-priced homes.

The action, like a lot of good music, is usually at lower price points. Take note.

Sub-$1 million homes are seeing annual home value appreciation in the 8 to 12 percent range. That appreciation plummets for many homes in higher ranges — to even as low as 1 percent.

Coming up with realistic and attractive pricing drives seller success. This is one of the reasons I do so much research before I work with my sellers to price their home. I pull actual comparison homes, not just those on the same street — but those with similar amenities, layouts and features. Research goes a long way.

Prep to get the best bang for your buck 

In short — clean, declutter and do basic prep.

This might sound obvious, but some sellers in this market think they can list as is. I’m here to tell you that you can but your sale price, and overall selling experience will suffer.

It’s easy to want to overdo it when prepping a house to sell. Resist. You want the home to feel solid and well-taken-care-of — you don’t need to remodel the kitchen or bathroom.

Touch up baseboard paint, clean the home inside and out, organize kitchen drawers and pantry shelves, have current, interesting music playing during showings.

Some sellers don’t want to hassle with these details, but it’s so critical that I step in for my sellers when they can’t or don’t want to handle some of the essential prep.

Trust me — do these basics and you’ll be happy.

Check Your Home Price

Understand timing

I recently met with some listing clients in Cherry Creek and I advised them that they might want to wait to list their home until early next February, if the timing works for their schedule. Frothy buyer demand has been peaking earlier and earlier in the year — which means that by about now the pool of active buyers has dwindled and those still in it have waning interest as summer vacation enters high gear.

In February they’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll get top dollar. Homeselling is classic economics — when demand increases, so do prices.

Lower demand for higher-priced homes

It’s just a fact — higher-priced Denver neighborhood homes are taking longer to sell than lower-priced homes (sub $1 million). This is an important fact to come to terms with, as it helps us properly set expectations.

Properly marketed and prepped, expensive homes will sell, but be prepared for a longer sale cycle.

Staging is critical

As a professional in the field day in and day out, I can unequivocally say that staging is a huge factor in driving buyer interest, multiple offers and offer price.

Interesting art, textures, rugs contribute to a fresh, clean energy in the home that really amps appeal.

This is why I pay for a professional stager for my sellers — it gets results.

Bonus: Advice for hiring a listing agent

Picking a listing agent is one of the most critical things you’ll do in your home sale.

The best thing to do is to do some research on agents who demonstrate knowledge and expertise of the neighborhood you live in. Then interview two or three of these agents — get them to talk about how they’d market the home, what they’d price it at, what they suggest you need to do to get it show-ready, how long do they think it will take to sell.

You’ll know right away which agent “gets” the home. That’s one of the most critical components. If they understand the home and its appeal, they’ll be able to market it effectively.

Good agents will be able to do this, especially if you hire a neighborhood expert.

It’s one of the reasons I focus my business on my core Denver neighborhoods of Cherry Creek, Bonnie Brae, Belcaro, Washington Park and Cory-Merrill — to be a great agent I need to have a street-by-street knowledge of the area. I need to know where the price-per-square foot is higher, where lower, and why, the appeal of the schools, any exciting neighborhood developments and commute features.

Demand the same from any agent you hire. You’ll be glad you did.