State of the Denver Residential Home Market – March 2017

If you’ve ever wondered if weather affects the real estate market, this late winter is proof positive. The spring selling season has gotten off to an early start due to unseasonably warm weather. Pair that with low inventory and high demand and you’ve got a great spring seller’s market in Colorado. It makes a difference in the tactics of the listing Realtor.

Activity declines during the winter

State of the Denver Residential Home Market - March 2017Usually the amount of activity for listings in the residential home market in the area declines during the winter. For instance, February saw a total of 3,878 units and the number of sales decreased by 12.21% compared to the previous month. The difference this rather warm February was that even though listings were lower, condo inventory was up 19.25% with single-family inventory down 7.6%. This caused extreme competition and frustrated buyers.

Median home details

So in the single family home market, the median home looks like this: detached single-family home has 1,742 square feet, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, spent 11 days on the market and was built in 1983. The median attached single-family home/condo was 1,151 square feet, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms, spent six days on the market and was built in 1984. These median homes sold for an amount that remained relatively unchanged at $447,838 while the median price rose 3.68 percent to $394,000.

This February

This February there was a surge of new listings with a monthly increase of almost 20%. Of course that increase was overshadowed by an even bigger increase in contracts. We’re talking to the tune of homes under contract increasing 17.82% from last month, and 4.79% from February of last year.

So what does this say? It says don’t be afraid to list. It’s needed and your home will sell.

source: Denver Metro Real Estate Market Trends Report – March 2017

Denver Home Buyers – Setting Yourself Up Right With A Wish List

As a Denver home buyer, do you know what you want in a home? Think about some of these things. Have you ever browsed around in a store, not knowing what you wanted, but just looking around? How about grocery shopping without a list? Did you buy things you don’t need and regret buying them later? Did you feel like you just wasted all kinds of time? Why would home shopping be any different? It isn’t.

Think about what you want

Denver Home Buyers - Setting Yourself Up Right With A Wish ListSo you’ve decided to buy a home. Great! It isn’t just going to the store and looking around for a bit. Your home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. Do you know what you want?

If you’ve owned a home before you probably know what you don’t want. If you’re a first time buyer you probably have a vague idea. You really need to make your wish list. But how can you do that if you don’t know what you want? Questions!

Questions to make your wish list

How much space do you need? Are you just a couple starting out or a family of 5 needing more space? Do you want your kids to have their own bedrooms? Do you often have guests? Do you need a home office? Just by starting with the number of bedrooms you can narrow a search.

If you are a couple starting out, do you need more than one full bathroom? Would a bath and powder room do? Are you planning a family or do you have children? Now would a master bath and main bath sound like a better idea? Ok so now you’ve narrowed your search even more.

Big kitchen or small? Do you cook a lot or just reheat? Does it matter if you have granite counters or will laminate do? Do you have to have a high end stove and convection oven because you love to try your hand at gourmet cooking or will a standard stove do? Do you entertain, or want a big area for relaxation, TV and family time? Is it more important to have that space outdoors?

Do you see how that works?

Your wish list now has bed and bath numbers, what amenities you want and an idea of space. Now your Realtor can find you homes that fit your wish list instead of wasting time looking at things you don’t want.

Three Things You MUST Do Before You List Your Home For Sale

Three Things You MUST Do Before You List Your Home For SaleIt’s time. Your house is either too big or too small. Time to sell and move. There are a few things you need to, no, MUST do, before you list your home for sale. Get it ready, price it right and know where you’re headed.

First thing is to get your home show ready

You need to spend some time doing a thorough cleaning. Pack up items you don’t need and declutter. Clean every room, ceiling to floor. Once clean check for things to repair. You may need to repaint, or want to if your current décor is less than favorable to most buyers. Fix minor things like holes from nails and get each room looking ship shape. Steam clean carpets and if they are beyond cleaning, replace them. A buyer is going to ask for an allowance to do the same, so better to do it now.

Price it right

Next, work with your Realtor to come up with a fair market price. It can be tricky to do, so keep your head on. Fair market value isn’t what YOU think it’s worth. It isn’t what your neighbor sold his house for last year. It isn’t what your other neighbor listed his home for last week. It isn’t even what you paid for it. Fair market value is determined by finding comparable homes and seeing what the market allowed them to be purchased for.

Lastly, know where you’re going

That means you need to be house hunting as well. Knowing where you’re going, and what it will cost, is important. Not for pricing your home, but so you know where you stand later in negotiations. You’ll know what kind of concessions you can or can’t make. You also don’t want to be left homeless! Whether you sell fast or not, knowing where you will end up is a smart plan.

A Glossary of Real Estate Terms | Denver Real Estate

If you’ve decided to buy your first home, or even if you’ve owned a home before, all those buzz words or terms that your Realtor may be using can be really confusing. Here is a quick glossary of the most commonly used terms.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) – A mortgage that changes based on the going interest rate, called the prime rate, sometimes a bit more (often A Glossary of Real Estate Terms | Denver Real Estatethe lingo is “prime plus”). It can change up or down, and some are convertible fixed rate (or a mortgage with an interest rate that doesn’t change) meaning the homeowner can opt to change it from adjustable to fixed once during the life of the loan.

Agent– A person authorized to act on another’s behalf. Sometimes the terms agent and broker are used interchangeably, but an agent represents either the buyer or the seller, sometimes both. A broker is licensed by the state to act as an agent, but also has full authority to run a real estate company.

Appraisal – A professional determination of value of a property. Your mortgage companies almost always require an appraisal of the property by a licensed, disinterested party before agreeing to give you a mortgage.

Conventional mortgage – A real estate loan, which is not insured by the government agency (FHA or the Veterans Administration). A mortgage is the document the borrower signs promising to repay. Some states use a “Deed of Trust” instead of a mortgage.

MLS – This is an acronym for Multiple Listing System, which is a database used all over the US for real estate agents to list home for sale or lease.

Mortgage Insurance – Insurance paid by the borrower to insure the lender against default in case of non payment of the mortgage loan. It protects the mortgage company or bank, not the borrower. Most FHA loans require mortgage insurance, as do conventional mortgages if the loan to value is more than 80%. MIP is mortgage insurance premium paid as part of your mortgage payment.

There are plenty of other terms that you will want to know. MLS.com has a great glossary and you can check it out here: http://www.mls.com/Home/Glossary.mvc

How Many Homes Should You Look At Before Putting In An Offer | Denver Real Estate Buyer Tips

Home after home and so far, none of them feel like, well, home. You feel like you have been looking at homes for eons. How many houses should you look at before putting in an offer if you are looking at Denver real estate? Here’s some buyers tips.

Don’t be overly picky in your home search

How Many Homes Should You Look At Before Putting In An OfferRegardless of the type of Denver real estate market, buyers or sellers, looking at a lot of homes can actually be counterproductive.

In a seller’s market being very picky will mean you won’t find a home to buy. Why? Because someone else will swoop in and buy it out from under you if you hesitate.

Even in a buyer’s market, being so picky that you have to look at 20, 50 or more homes will defeat you. How can you possibly make a decision or even remember the details of home after home? Then there’s the fact that it will also make your Realtor absolutely nuts.

Make a list of the positives and negatives

Guess what? No house is going to be perfect. A brand new home will need minor adjustments, maybe paint, definitely decorating. An older home will need either major or minor updating or have issues.

If it has everything else you need moving on because it isn’t perfect is silly. After touring a home, list the positives and negatives, especially if you are on the fence about whether it is a good fit for you or not. If the positives outweigh the negatives then you should seriously consider putting in an offer instead of continuing your home search.

Rely on your Realtor

Don’t forget to discuss it with your Realtor too. They know the market. They will know if there may be a better option available for you. Just be sure you are completely upfront and honest with them about your wants and needs. Rely on your Realtor and allow them to make your home search easier.