Recently I was asked by 5280 Magazine to give my two-cents in regards to the real estate market of Denver. The article that was recently published is titled “Everything you know about Denver’s real estate market is wrong” – which is both true and false. This article focuses on the truths and the myths, what is good about the market and what is bad about the market and what buyers can do to stay in this competitive seller’s market.
5280 journalist Natasha Gardner starts with some good news: if you own a house in Denver, its value probably has gone up in the past few years. If you are looking to sell your house, there are plentiful buyers out there willing to pay at asking price or above asking price meaning sellers get to pocket some extra cash. And if you are a buyer, the sooner you are able to buy the sooner your house will grow in value in this every growing appreciating market. Denver used to be a city you could buy a stand-alone home with a yard in a central neighborhood for less than $350k but those days are long behind us with the average house price around $420k.
So that’s where myself and other real estate agents came into the picture, to help pass along out real estate knowledge to help buyers and sellers survive and thrive in this market. With 200 years of collective experience between us, we came up with this list of rules for buyers and sellers to live by:
1. Understand the impact of record-low inventory levels - Lots of people want to buy homes and right now, Denver is at an all-time-low for inventory. Prices continue to rise because there are not enough inventory to go around so while demand keeps building, so does prices.
2. Target traditionally quiet times to buy and sell in what’s not a yearlong season - The ups and downs of the market used to be predictable but that isn’t the case anymore, as I expressed, the selling season was off to an early start this year picking up in February.
3. Don’t count on rising interest rates to stall Denver’s market - Take this for exactly what it is, the interest rates cannot stay at the level they are now and they will continue to rise but that will not hinder the market here.
4. Get the right app - You want to be as informed as your agent in this market so get out there and find the best apps like Homesnap to keep you updated daily on the new homes on the market.
5. Find a rock-star agent and be prepared to offer more than list price - This should come without saying, you need an agent who is going to put up a fight for you and has your best interests at heart. Have some money put aside in case you do need to offer more than asking price because when you can close the gap between and appraisal and offer price you are a much better buying candidate to the seller.
6. Embrace the backup-buyer trend – In February 2016, one in five first offers fell through due to bad-timing, shaky financing or appraisal and inspection issues. I suggested that sellers get pre-inspections so they know if there are big-ticket items to fix. Using a buyer backup, in case the first offer falls through, is a good choice for both buyers and sellers.
7. Beware of buyer fatigue – There are so many offers and buyers get discouraged which causes them to decide to leave the market and sign another leasing agreement while hoping for the market to settle out more.
8. Think beyond the house – You might not be able to have the yard you want, or a perfect patio in the back. If you want to live close to the city, you need to realize you might not have all of these things marked off your list.
9. Assume the seller is listening – Don’t expect you are having a private conversation while in a house, make sure to wait until you are outside with your agent to discuss such matters.
10. Ignore conventional geographic boundaries – Neighborhood lines are being blurred as buyers focus on the metro area as a whole. You might not be able to be in your first choice or even your second but keep an open mind when looking.
11. Increase your budget to decrease stress – This speaks for itself, the more money you have to work with, the more inventory you will have to work with too.
12. Love the one you can afford – We all fall in love with our dream homes that are out of our price range but the goal is to find a place in your budget that you can fall in love with.
13. Consider buying new – A key way to increase inventory in Denver is by infilling and repurposing old places and by looking at the new builds.
Check out the full article at the link below and if you have any other real estate questions I can help answer please just contact me today!