Know the essentials to win in the still-hot Denver real estate market

Denver’s real estate market is both inviting and intimidating. The opportunity to take part in sky-high appreciation and find your dream home in a cozy neighborhood in a thriving town is almost too good to pass up.

But you face a fierce competition and challenging market as 2019 hurdles toward the spring selling season.

So, I wanted to outline the essentials for successfully selling in Denver’s 2019 real estate market.

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Know the numbers

Denver housing inventory is extremely low. There were 5,577 active listings in December 2018, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors data. The historical average for December (1985-2017) is 13,403. Inventory is below half of average!

Though inventory did rise a bit toward the end of 2018, this still means sellers rule the market. Buyers have limited inventory to choose from, which heats up their hunt.

Sellers have more reason for confidence.

Housing demand is high and getting higher. The Denver metro area is slated to add over 50,000 people in 2019, according to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Denver’s 1.6 percent annual growth rate is double the national average and expected to keep pace through 2025.

In 2018, single family listings peaked in May.

More importantly, get to know the specific trends in your micromarket. Not sure how to do this or what micromarket you are in? I would love to share my expertise.

Time it right 

Homebuying has long been a seasonal endeavor — more homes begin to list in the spring, peak in mid-summer and return to lower levels by late fall.

Sellers — get ready to list early and beat the competition to it! Listing in February will help you increase your chances of getting top dollar.

Buyers — shop when the market is quieter and you may score a deal when others aren’t looking.

Mortgage rates aren’t slowing the market — yet

While 2019 mortgage interest rates are expected to rise to their highest since 2008, don’t expect this to stall the market. A projected 5.5 percent interest rate by year’s end is still modest and obtainable for many buyers.

Strong home appreciation, job growth and an attractive mountain lifestyle should keep Denver’s housing market moving. Check out my post on 2019 real estate by-the-numbers.

360 Adams Street

Get a kick-a$$ agent

No, this is not shameless self-promotion. Find an agent you connect with and who has deep knowledge of the neighborhood you intend to sell or buy in.

For example, I focus all of my energy on just a few core neighborhoods, so I can stay on the cutting edge of what’s happening in them. They are Cherry Creek, Bonnie Brae, Belcaro, Cory-Merrill and Washington Park.

A reputable agent for the right location can make all the difference. They can help beat the competition and give honest advice when choosing a home that best matches your needs.

If you are looking at selling or buying here or in one of my core neighborhoods, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to share my expertise.

Sellers — Introducing “backup buyers”

Just because your listing goes under contract doesn’t mean the deal is done. Many things, from a poor inspection to a buyer bidding beyond their means, can doom a successful close.

If the offers were pouring in before you went under contract, look into securing a backup buyer. This contract with another buyer can guarantee a close if your initial offer falls through, all while avoiding a second listing.

Aviano Coffee in Cherry Creek.

Know your tradeoffs

Balancing your budget with your needs is difficult under any market scenario.

To best prepare your home to sell, consult with an agent you trust and who knows the neighborhood. This will help you get the most bang for your spruce-up buck. Trust me, this really helps.

Smart buyers engage in the same tradeoff evaluation.

For example, if they find that their growing family needs a large backyard, but those listings put them out of their price range — they can look for a home near a park. If they work from home but can’t afford the listing with a spare room, look for something close to a coffee shop or communal workspaces.

This kind of thinking creates real estate wins.

Have educated expectations

Denver’s luxury market, i.e. listings over $1 million, is a bit cooler than lower price points. This means, you’ll need to price your luxury home well and accordingly to secure a buyer at a good price.

Hit the market at the right price and you’ll find success.

Although Denver luxury homes are spending less time on the market, homes are selling closer to their list price and current inventory seems to match demand better than in other market sectors.

My core neighborhoods, which include Cherry Creek, are starting to see sellers make aggressive moves to score the early season close, signaling an opportunity for early-season buyers.

Explore other recently sold Cherry Creek listings here.

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