As price appreciation slows, sellers need to prep their homes well

The spring selling season is running full steam like a downhill spring skier, and facing some new bumps.

The market experts were right: the Denver seller’s market is waning in 2019.

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[See how the 2019 market kicked off]

While the market remains strong, the unheard of seller’s markets from 2013-2018, when year-over-year price appreciation hovered in the double digits and homes routinely received multiple offers and sold relatively far over list, is over.

The average sold price of a Denver single-family home increased 1.65 percent from $522,277 in April 2018 to $530,897 in April 2019, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Home values are rising, but at much lower rates.

For example, the average single-family home sold price rose 11.34 percent from April 2017 to April 2018!

The price of all home types rose just 2.1 percent in the first quarter 2019 over the same period last year.Source: LIV Sotheby’s International Realty first quarter micromarket report.

What this means for sellers

Price your home right the day you hit the market and have your home move-in ready.

The days are over when you can get top dollar for a squint-and-imagine-the-possibilities home — it’s time to up the presentation and give buyers a clear vision.

Sellers: win by making your home as enticing as possible. Make buyers want to take a bite.

Buyers — you still need to act quick

Buyers should be prepared to swing fast when they find their Denver dream home.

The Denver neighborhood real estate market may not be breaking huge records, but the “cream puff” listings aka homes that have a hot location, hot interior and create an emotional buyer experience attract offers within hours.

I’ve seen it, just this weekend.

Core Neighborhoods

As I’ve written before, there’s really a tale of two markets going on in Denver: homes priced over $1 million and those under. Roughly speaking, homes at the higher end exhibit more of a seller’s market; those at the lower end, a buyer’s market.

My core neighborhoods clearly exhibit this; such as what I call the tale of two parks.

West Washington Park has smaller lots, with lower-priced homes. The average price of homes in the hood for first quarter 2019 were $778,732, a 12.2 percent jump from the same period last year.

Source: LIV Sotheby’s International Realty first quarter micromarket report.

East Washington Park has more of a classic Denver neighborhood feel, bigger lots, nicer homes and higher price points. The average first quarter 2019 home price of $1.3 million represented just a 0.4 percent jump from the period a year previous.

Source: LIV Sotheby’s International Realty first quarter micromarket report.

Here we see the 2019 Denver real estate market in black and white.