I am often asked how the real estate market is in Denver and the normal reaction for me and most agents is to say that it is great and start talking about statistics. How much have prices risen, how long are properties sitting on the market compared to last year, how quickly are properties going under contract? So many statistics and none of them truly answer the question. So here it is… The market in Denver is….
Rough. So many buyers and so few houses. High prices, low interest, huge demand. How does that translate to you or your friends and family who want to own a piece of real estate in Denver under $500,000?
For example – 2 years ago I could show a buyer around and find the perfect place and write a strong offer and compete against no one. My clients went under contract and closed in less than 45 days. Today, I am working with a buyer that has been looking for 4 months…. 4 MONTHS! We have written at least 10 offers and always seem to be in the top 3 of 30+ offers but alas, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. We have waived inspection, contributed cash towards appraised value, let the sellers rent back for free for 45-60 days… still not at the top of the list.
From a customer service stand point… really rough. It is very difficult to know the excitement that builds for her every time we submit an offer and wait days to hear back – if we hear back at all only to find out they took a cash offer, or the seller liked one personal letter over theirs. I know how disappointed I am for her so I can only imagine her disappointment is 100 fold from my own.
If you are selling it isn’t all roses either. Yes, you will get top dollar for your home, but if you have to turn around and find a new home under $500,000 you have two deals to worry about instead of one and you get to compete with 30+ buyers every time you find a home you love.
So what is the answer? We expect a jump in interest rates will cool the market a bit and help swing us slightly towards a more balanced market. We continue to see new homes hit the market, but not at the same pace we see new buyers enter the market. More listings is the simple straight forward answer.
What can you do if you are in the buyers market today… be aggressive, be patient, expect that if you loved 1 out of the 10 you looked at, so will almost every other buyer out that day. Plan to compete and bring your best game forward. Hire a great agent who knows how to negotiate for you, but also doesn’t want to get you into a home that you cannot sell in 5 years if your circumstances change. Waiving appraisal might get you the home out of 30 other offers, but it depletes your cash and it leaves you upside down from the moment you get the keys.
What can you do if you are in the sellers market today – be understanding. Don’t choose the highest offer… choose the one that is the most likely to close for as close to market value as you can get. Buyers and agents today are saying up front they will waive inspection and they will waive appraisal but when push comes to shove, they just back out when the terms aren’t right and can waste your time and energy. Know that every offer you hold in your hand is a family looking to start out in a new home, your home. Be understanding and considerate if you can. Hire a great agent who can help you choose the right offer to begin with and help you negotiate with buyers who already feel taken advantage of on price and feel heated up by the market.
Look for the win/win in every situation. Should you buyer or sell? Yes, indeed you should. Home ownership is still more cost effective than renting and is an investment that will grow over time. Just remember to be patient. Don’t get your hopes up crazy high until you are under contract because it might take a bit of time to find the perfect place and get it. Trust your agent to protect and fight for you… if you don’t trust them, find a new agent. You are going to need a strong agent in your corner.
If you are working with me today to find a new home – trust me, I am awake at night hoping they choose your offer. I am getting creative to get your offer to the top. I am getting buyers under contract and closed and they will all say that at the end – it was worth it.