Category Archives: Real Estate Market & Stats

All of Real Estate is local! What is happening in the national news may not be an accurate picture of what is happening in our area. Here you will find some notable differences.

New Evidence of a slowing Real Estate Market in Denver.

The October report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtor (DMAR) is out, and it shows that home sales in the Denver area are slower than just a seasonal effect would account for.  Even though there is still a relative shortage of houses on the market, other indicators such as more price reductions and more transactions falling apart and homes having to go back on the market, may be signs that the seller’s advantage in the market is softening.

Below is a summary of DMAR’s October 2017 statistical analysis of the state of Denver area housing activity:

 

DMAR’s October Market Trends Report   

REALTORS® report showings of homes on the market are slowing and home sellers are beginning to reduce prices

Active listings in the residential market (single-family homes and condos) was at 7,586 total units in September, while the number of sold listings decreased by 21.58 percent compared to the previous month. The decrease in sold listings is greater than the 10-year seasonal average decrease of 10.1 percent.

Notably, even with the number of homes sold dropping, the market is still ahead of last year as year-to-date closings are up 3.22 percent over 2016.

“We’re starting to see a slowdown in overall housing market traffic even in the lower price ranges,” said Steve Danyliw, Chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Denver REALTOR®. “Inventory continues to be in short supply and nothing that we can see will change that in the immediate future.”

According to a sampling of DMAR REALTOR® members, showings are slowing down and home sellers are reducing home prices in order to get more traction. The report shares insights that escalating buyer demands during inspection are causing more homes to fall out of contract and come back onto the market. Furthermore, “back on market” and “price reductions” seem to be more common than “new listings” in MLS searches as of late.

If you are interested in buying or selling in Denver metro area, and have any questions about what this information might mean for you, please feel free to contact me!

Price Reduced by Nearly $11,000 – 8321 Ralph Lane

4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom, 2000 total sqft

Asking Price:  Was  $329,900-  NOW:  $319,000!

Status:  ACTIVE

Adorable brick ranch-style home!  All baths and the kitchen have been updated! New roof in 2016.  Fresh paint, newer carpet, wood floors!  Quiet neighborhood near shopping and easy commute to Denver & Boulder!  Click on the photo below for guided tour and all the details!

Click the photo or the address:  8321 Ralph Ln

You are Invited!

The beautiful house, with incredible views, is having an open house Sunday, May 22 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm!  You are invited to come and take a look in person (slide show below)!  I hope to see you there!

2662 W 118th Ave, Westminster CO  80234

house straight on, hi def

2662 W 118th Ave, Westminster CO 80234         Click Here for more Info and Photos!

Curb Appeal: Is it worth the investment?

Here’s an article specifically talking about the value of curb appeal, from a dollars and cents perspective.  It even breaks it down to what trees and fencing are worth. Most landscaping (as with any home project) should be done for your own enjoyment, but it does add to the value of your home, either in the form of a faster sale or in the form of a higher sales price when you decide to sell.   Some experts believe that mature landscaping can add up to 25% to the value of your home.  If you have been thinking of sprucing up your exterior- have a look at this link!  It may give you some good ideas of where to invest your money.
http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/landscaping-gardening/landscaping-home-value/

 

 

 

Open Houses are Risky Business! Are They Worth It?

Almost every time I have spoken with homeowners about ways to market their house for sale,  I have been asked if I do open houses to find buyers.  My answer to that question is “very rarely”. 

At that point, many sellers seem shocked and surprised.  Maybe it is from watching real estate “reality” shows on TV,  but there seems to be a belief that filling the house with the smell of freshly baked cookies and potpourri, and putting out an open house sign draws in hordes of qualified buyers and inevitably results in getting an offer at the end of the day.

Despite what you may see on reality TV, it is not the reality I have experienced.  Here is why I do not include open houses in my usual list of marketing tasks:

1.  For the most part, open houses don’t draw in actual buyers.  They draw in curious neighbors and people who happen to be passing by and see the open house sign.  Think about the times that you have seen a neighbor’s house being held open.  When you stop and go in, chances are you are doing so because you are curious to see how their house compares to yours and what they are asking for it.  Most neighbors are not actually looking to buy their neighbor’s house.  With only 7% of homebuyers buying a home that they first saw at an open house, it is not the most effective way to market the home.  It’s like fishing in a pond with 100 fish in it, but only 7 of them are hungry enough to bite.  And you only have 2-3 hours (the average length of an open house) to find those 7 hungry fish…  what are the odds?

2.  A recent survey of homebuyers by the National Association of Realtors shows that roughly 90% of homes are purchased by buyers using a real estate brokers.  Real Estate brokers generally set private showing appointments for their buyers, at times that are convenient to the buyer.  Using a Broker is much faster and more efficient than driving neighborhoods on the weekends looking for open houses.

3.  When you open your house to anyone passing by, you don’t really know who is coming into your home or why they are there!  Sure, there may be a sign-in sheet, but many people will not sign in and when they do, they give fictitious information because they don’t want the broker contacting them afterward.  When a real estate broker shows your home, most of the time (depending on the broker) they have pre-screened the potential buyer.  Most brokers will require the buyer be pre-approved with a lender prior to showing them homes.  The lender’s preapproval would include: pulling the buyer’s credit report (which requires a social security number), and getting a copy of the buyer’s driver license, tax returns, paystubs, bank statements, etc.  The preapproval process helps verify that the buyer is who they say they are.  The fact that the buyer has gone through the application process shows that they are serious buyers and not just “looking”.

4. Open houses can present a risk to the seller’s property.   Below is a recent notice (April 2015) to real estate brokers that I found on the IRES website (IRES is one of the MLS’s that serves the Denver metro and Northern Colorado areas).

“Crime Alert from the Colorado Real Estate Commission – Denver police report burglaries of listed homes after holding an open house

The Division of Real Estate has been made aware of criminal activities taking place at open houses listed for sale.   The Denver Police Department has received reports of homes listed for sale being burglarized over the last couple of weeks.  All the homes involved had held an open house and were later burglarized.  Thieves are attending the open house during the day and scouting out ways to gain access; later returning and burglarizing the home. This is an important reminder to take extra precautions with homes you are listing and opening up to the public.  Law enforcement recommends developing a good process for checking and ensuring all access points to the home are secured.  Denver Police are urging everyone to be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious at homes listed for sale.  If you see suspicious activity or a home that looks like it may have been burglarized, please contact your local Police Department through its non-emergency number.”

5. Open House can be dangerous for the person holding the open house (the homeowner or their broker).  I am sure your mother told you when you were a child to never get in the car with a stranger.  The same principle applies when being alone in a house with a stranger.  Always know who you are dealing with and whether they are a serious, pre-approved buyer.  Your goal is to sell your house, but not at the risk of your life and safety.  I don’t mean to be a fear-monger, but if you are too trusting or allow yourself to be alone in a house with an un-screened “buyer”, the result could be hazardous to your health  and even fatal.  Here are some very real stories in the news in the past few years that illustrate the point:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/open-638200-attack-agents.html

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/03/17/ariz-agent-warns-about-open-house-attack

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/real-estate-broker-78-attacked-at-home-west-of-yakima/

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/10/21/alert-new-string-attacks-against-agents

You can search the internet and find many  more horrifying tales of attacks on people trying to sell real estate.  So- to go back to the question posed in the title of this post- in my opinion, given the low probability (7%) of actually finding your buyer through the open house, and the risks to personal safety and property, I would say that the benefit does not out weight the risk.

If, after reading all of this,  you still want to bake cookies and breakout the potpourri , please check out these safety tips for holding an open house, from the National Association of Realtors  ( http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/open-house-safety-tips).  If you are interested in selling your home and would like the professional assistance of a real estate broker,  I would be happy to help!  Please contact me using the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automate your Denver Home Search!

Most people are unaware that sellers determine how their homes are advertised when they are listed for sale.  Sellers determine whether the home is to be listed only in their Broker’s MLS or whether it is to be syndicated, or shared with multiple publicly accessible websites.   Therefore, because not all listings in the MLS are shared with the publicly accessible sites, your search results on these sites may not include all homes currently on the market.

If you would like to receive information on all listings in the Denver Metro/Boulder and Northern Colorado Broker’s MLS, I can set up an automated search for you, based on your specific criteria.  The search runs daily and you will be notified via email when a property comes on the market that matches your criteria.  You will also be notified of price drops and changes in status, such as when a property goes under contract or comes back on the market if it has previously been under contract.

You will be able to access all available photos, tours, and detailed information on a free personal website I will set up for you.  On your free personal website, you will also be able to rate each property according to your interest level.  You will continue to have access to the properties in your search results history for as long as the properties remain on the market.  This website can also be used by homeowners who want to keep track of the sales activity in their own neighborhoods.

If you are thinking of buying a home, the automated notification system, definitely gives you an edge over other buyers looking for properties. It allows you to see each new listing as soon as it becomes available, without having to make the time to do the search yourself.  It’s faster, and much more convenient.  Having the free personal website helps you organize your search results, and makes it easier to go back and have another look at the properties that you liked, without having to run another manual internet search and sift through pages and pages of properties that you have already ruled out.

If you would like to receive the automated notifications of new listings, along with your free search results website, please fill out and submit the contact form below.  Or, if you prefer to use the manual search method on one of the public sites, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about any of the properties that you find in your search!

 

Denver’s Top 5 “Biggest Bang for the Buck” Home Improvement Projects!

Many sellers ask me what they can do to improve the value of their homes at resale.  Every year, Remodeling Magazine and Realtor Magazine cooperate to research the costs and value-added of numerous home improvement projects in a wide range of costs.  The research is conducted at the national, regional, and even the city/local level.  This year, the information was compiled in the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com).

What I am going to summarize here is the information specifically for the Denver metro area.  The average cost and the average amount recouped for each project can vary greatly depending on the area of the country that you are in.   If you live outside the Denver area, you should go to www.costvsvalue.com to search for the information for your specific area of interest.

Although, for copyright reasons, I cannot list all of the projects here in this blog post, I can say that my overall observation of all the projects is that, with a few exceptions, most projects with “upscale” finishes do not recoup as much of their cost as projects done with mid-range finishes.  So, my advice for sellers would be that you should view any luxury finishes as a “value-added” or “personal enjoyment” factor for yourself while you are living in the home.  You most likely will not get back what you spent when it comes time to sell.  While you should recoup a higher actual dollar amount for a high-end project versus a mid-range project, it may not be as high a return when stated as a percentage of the cost of the project.

The Five Projects in Denver that have the highest amount of cost recouped are:

Project Cost Resale Value Percentage of Cost Recouped
Upscale Siding replacement (fiber-cement) $13,250 $13,560 102.3%
Mid-range Attic Bedroom Remodel $48,664 $46,253 95.0%
Mid-range 2-story Addition $153,017 $136,713 89.3%
Upscale Garage Door Replacement $2,793 $2,479 88.8%
Upscale Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) $14,028 $12,358 88.1%

 

 

My thoughts, looking at these top 5 projects for Denver, are that the type of work that recoups the most money can be categorized as upscale projects that improve curb appeal and/or midrange projects that add additional living space. Something to keep in mind, is that the report is based on AVERAGE costs and values for each project.  Your costs and values may be different depending on how well you shop and the neighborhood you are in.  If you wish to recoup as much as possible for your improvements, my advice would be:

  1. do the improvements that are valued by the buyers in your area,
  2. only improve to the level of expectation of buyers for your neighborhood (don’t over-improve),
  3. shop carefully to reduce the cost of the improvements made.

SOURCES:   1. ©2014 Hanley Wood, LLC.  Complete data from the Remodeling 2014 Cost Vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com. 2. National Association of Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2014/01/realtors-rate-exterior-replacement-projects-among-most-valuable-home-improvements. 3.  Photo copyrighted by Microsoft.

Additional information that may be of interest can be found at these sites:

http://www.houselogic.com/photos/home-improvement/best-home-improvement/slide/steel-entry-door/

http://www.houselogic.com/home-topics/features-of-an-ideal-kitchen

If you would like a free consultation about the current value of your home, or suggestions for improving the marketability and resale value of your home, please feel free to contact Joan, by either calling 720-201-3049 or submitting the form below.