What can buyers and sellers expect in a real estate market that is HOT like the one we are currently experiencing in metro Denver? How does it affect the buyer and seller?
If you have access to a radio, TV or internet it will come as no surprise to you that the Denver real estate market is booming. It’s a great problem to have, but it does create some unique challenges for buyers, and some interesting times for sellers. We at COListings would like to share a little insight about what you might expect from this current market and some of the challenges or benefits you may discover, depending on which side of the transaction you’re on.
Let’s start with you folks interested in selling your home. Is now the right time? You better believe it. Did you know in the last week 1,267 homes went on the market, and 1,619 went under contract?! That’s right, We need listings! We ourselves at COListings have recently put two new listings on the market, and have had multiple offers on both within 12 hours of listing them. Not to mention both came in well over asking price straight out of the gate. Right now sellers have the ability to pick and choose buyers, and analyze which one they feel most comfortable with. Sellers also have more say in paying concessions, and a little more sway on inspection items than they did a couple years ago. If you are thinking of selling for whatever reason you really cannot go wrong right now. The only pitfall you may come across if finding something else to buy on the other side of your transaction. Just like you, the seller of that property has a little more power right now, but with the right guidance by a knowledgeable agent you will do just fine. If you are thinking of selling you really should consider doing it now, before the inventory levels rise and the market slows down a bit. Your home is worth top dollar, and you have most of the power at this point in time.
Well buyers, now you’ve read about the sellers, you probably have some idea of what you’re up against. This market is a bit tougher for you folks, but there are some darn nice homes out there, waiting for you to find them. As mentioned above, if you have a good agent, you should be able to navigate this market and accomplish your goals as well.
Here are a few tips to help out:
Know what you are looking for and be prepared to move quickly. That means if a home within your criteria comes on the market, be prepared to look at it THAT DAY. And be prepared to write an offer. In this market if you snooze, you lose.
Don’t try to lowball offers. Sellers aren’t in that mindset right now. They know they have a product you need, and inventory is low. They are expecting good, solid offers. Don’t insult them by offering them less, unless it’s clear the house is overpriced, or it needs a lot of work. Every home and every situation is unique, but trust your agent to guide you appropriately based on the home.
Be willing to look at alternatives. If you’re set on a very specific location, and you have to have that extra bathroom, you may have to adjust your mindset ever so slightly to account for the low inventory levels. Be willing to look a couple miles outside your target area, or look for homes with the possibility of adding that extra bathroom. Until things level out you are either going to have to adjust, or be patient and wait for what you want.
Trust your agent to know what they are doing, and make sure they do. We have several tricks to get you into a home that other agents may not know about or use. Interview your agent a bit, ask them what they are doing to ensure that you are well-represented and that they know a few things that will entice a seller to pick your offer over another. A good agent will know how to respond to these questions, and you’ll get a sense for their professionalism and whether or not they are right for you.
We don’t foresee this market changing anytime in the near future, so do your due diligence when you are speaking to an agent. Whether you are buying or selling you are going to have your own unique experience, and right now it could be chaotic at times, but just keep in mind that this is a great time to make a move. Home values are going to continue to rise, and that means get out there and buy now while you still get a bit more home for your money. We would love to answer any questions you may have, and help guide you through the process. We try to live by our tagline, and simplify the home selling and buying process. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!
Your COListings Team
One of the best things about living in Denver is the fact that there is always plenty to see and do nearby. In fact, one of the best ideas for a Denver, Colorado day trip is a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. Located just 71 miles from Denver, it provides some amazing scenery as well as ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation.
Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses more than 415 square miles of territory. Its famous Trail Ridge Road climbs to an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, providing several mountain overlooks that are absolutely breathtaking. This road also makes for an excellent place to spot wildlife or go stargazing at nighttime.
Unlike other national parks, Rocky Mountain is open 24 hours a day seven days a week, and guests are able to come and go at any time. During the winter, you can enjoy activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and tubing. Ranger-led snowshoe walks are also held here from time to time. When visiting in the winter, check the park’s official website for trail closings and current weather conditions, as some areas of the park may be inaccessible during periods of inclement weather.
The park’s more than 500 miles of trail are perfect for backpacking, hiking or mountain biking on. A few of the trails are also designated for equestrian use, and you can either bring your own horses or go on a guided trail ride. Mules, ponies, llamas and burros are also allowed on equestrian trails, and there are also a number of campsites throughout the park that accommodate these animals.
Fishing is also another popular activity at Rocky Mountain National Park. The rivers within the park are known for having healthy populations of rainbow, brown brook and cutthroat trout, along with a number of other species. There are also 156 lakes inside the park, many of which are supplementally stocked in order to facilitate good fishing.
Since the Rocky Mountain National Park is so vast, you may want to make it a habit to visit here on a regular basis in order to take in everything there is to see. It’s an enthralling destination any time of year, so you should plan on taking a day trip during every season.
The National Association of REALTORS® did a full analysis and found that less than 1% of homes were sold with the buyers being acquired at an open house. So the answer is no, right? Actually, the true answer is sometimes. Yes, 1% is a very low number and most real estate agents knowing this hold open houses strictly to gain new clients, not necessarily to sell your home. We actually have had a lot of luck selling homes with open houses and have done just that on numerous occasions. For it to be truly successful, it needs to be a strategic decision for the right house with the right criteria. Many open houses result in just nosey neighbors coming over, visitors who are just looking for decoration ideas, people just looking to get out of the house on a Saturday afternoon, and sometimes no one at all. So how do we determine when it is strategically wise to hold your house open?
First off, what makes an open house successful? In our opinion, a successful open house doesn’t necessarily mean that the home sell that day. Our ultimate goal is of course to do so, but our larger goal is to create hype and increase overall interest in your house and your neighborhood. This usually will at least get people talking about your home to friends and family, often resulting in increased showings and ultimately a sale.
Location is one of the biggest factors influencing the success of an open house. We have found that if your home is more than 3 turns from a major road, success rate reduces drastically. The home also needs to be in a desirable area that people are drawn to. Additionally, an area with a lot of foot traffic is the best case scenario!
An open house is always more successful if your home has unique features. If your home is the same as every other home in your neighborhood, you are wasting your time with an open house. An open house can be used to draw people into your home to see how rare and special it is. A really unique home will create a lot of buzz and excitement.
We stated before that the neighborhood needs to be desirable and well located, but it also needs to have nice features. Does your community have a Recreation center like Reunion, a pool, parks, or etc… The goal is to draw people into an area they already desire and to expose them to the neighborhood features that they may not be aware of. They may know the community has a pool, but have they seen it, do they know how nice it is?
We also hold our open houses at times when we know there will be increased traffic. Is there a fair, parade, or farmers market happening soon? What time does the church on the corner let out on Sundays? Are there popular lunch spots close by? Timing can be one of the main factors determining the success of your open house. As the cliche goes, timing is everything!
If your home meets the above criteria and it is strategically advantageous for you to hold an open house, it needs to be advertised. Advertising takes many forms, but the two that work the best are internet ads, and signage. When we hold a home open, we advertise that open house to over 100 websites in advance. This is very important, because we know that 99% of all people looking to buy a home are searching online. We also make sure to post clear and concise directions to the home, a factor that is often overlooked! The second ad type is signage. Open house signs need to be placed everywhere possible. We use an average of 10 open house signs with directional arrows for every open house we hold. The more signs, the more people will see it and find it. We advertise open houses in other ways, but these two are far and beyond the most successful.
So there you have it. If your home meets the above criteria, is advertised correctly, and you have an agent that will work to sell your home (not to gain clients) then your open house will be successful. If not, then you will most likely be disappointed and will have wasted your time.
Here at CO Listings, we don’t do things unnecessarily or for selfish gains; we are very strategic about our actions. Bottom line, we help sellers sell their homes for more money and less headache. We won’t kick you out of your home to hold an unsuccessful open house just because we want you to feel like we are doing something (unfortunately, a common practice). We are always open, honest and strategic with what we are doing for you, to sell your home. Contact one of our agents today to discuss how you can be strategic with the sale of your home.
When selling your house, you need to make sure it is clean, well kept and staged properly. Even after making sure all these details are taken care of, you still might lose a sale if your home has the wrong scent to it. One of the most frequently overlooked home selling tips involves the aroma of your home, and here are some things to keep in mind in order to ensure yours doesn’t turn people off.
No Scent may be Best
It goes without saying that people do not want to smell musty odors, pet urine or sewage when viewing your home, but you may be surprised to find that so-called “good” smells may be a turnoff as well. Many people are sensitive to the scent of potpourri or candles, and may actually find those smells annoying as well. In fact, if someone suffers an allergic outbreak while touring your home, chances are he or she will want to leave right away before even seeing all of it.
You want people to notice how clean your home is, but that doesn’t mean they should be knocked over by the smell of cleaning products whenever they walk through your door. Not everyone associates chemical odor with cleanliness, and in fact, people may just wonder whether or not you are trying to hide something by allowing the scent of cleaning products to become so overwhelming.
Eliminate odors in your carpet by sprinkling some baking soda on them and then using a broom to whisk it deep into the fibers. Finish by vacuuming thoroughly, and your rug will smell fresh and clean without emitting any offensive smell. Avoid using a commercial carpet freshener, as these have added perfumes that could negatively affect people. You can also use baking soda inside couch and chair cushions to freshen them also.
Launder rugs and curtains in a mild detergent, and then hang them outside to dry. The result will be a fresh scent that will permeate your home rather than a stale or musty odor that might turn off potential buyers.
Keep Scents Simple
If you absolutely must spray a scent, something that is light and natural will provide a pleasant aroma without being too offensive. A good example is a citrusy scent such as orange or lemon, which can make people feel at home inside your residence. You could also simmer some fresh herbs on the stove a few minutes before your showing to fill your kitchen with a pleasant scent that would be very welcoming to most people.
By giving your home the right scent, you will be increasing your odds of selling it for a decent amount of money right away. This often-overlooked detail could just make the difference between enticing a buyer and having that person choose another property instead.
The first part of 2014 has brought lower interest rates but will this continue? It’s not likely. We have had mixed economic data for the last few weeks and this has resulted in lower rates. The mixed data showed some weakness in the economy and a slowing economy usually means lower rates. However, the US economy continues to grow slowly. Unless this changes or something goes wrong overseas, interest rates are probably as low as they can go. The Fed has said they will continue to taper their purchases of mortgage backed securities. Continued tapering along with slowly improving economic data should push rates higher. Here’s a recent quote from the Fed Chairman, Janet Yellen, “My colleagues on the FOMC and I anticipate that economic activity and employment will expand at a moderate pace this year and next, the unemployment rate will continue to decline toward its longer-run sustainable level, and inflation will move back toward 2 percent over coming years."
I don’t expect that rates will rise rapidly but it wouldn't surprise me to see rates .5% - .75% higher than they are now by the end of the year. The attached chart shows a graph of mortgage backed securities pricing since mid-November. When prices go down, rates go up. The chart shows how quickly rates went up in late November and December. In January, we saw them improve just as quickly. The chart also shows that prices stopped rising at the same level as they did in mid-November. So, we may have seen all of the rate improvement that we will see. Rates are still at historically low levels and this is making homes more affordable. It’s a great time to buy a home and lock in a rate that you will be very happy with in the future.
By: John Kurtz
Senior Loan Officer
Premiere Mortgage Group