While attention-grabbing headlines do the trick, these can sometimes be deceiving to the overall story’s message. It’s important to look beyond the headline and read the entire story – as this will likely reveal more than the snippet that caught your attention. For example, currently real estate in Denver and most of the country continues to benefit from a nice, healthy housing market – despite what some headlines may say.
Real estate is currently being fueled by strength in employment and mortgage rates dropping 0.6% since November, sitting lower than it was a year ago, at just over 4%. In Q4 of 2018, our real estate market slowed down from its strength that was building since 2012. Last year, Denver enjoyed 8.3% value appreciation with projections at the 6-7% for 2019; still pretty great. Reports suggesting property values are going down should be understood as relative in context. Values are not rising at the same annual rate of +/- 10%, however they are eclipsing inflation by a multiple of three. So, annual home appreciation has gone from “super strong” to “pretty darn good.” Values are not decreasing but are just not increasing to levels that many sellers desire. Houses that are priced correctly and present well still sell quickly (sometimes with multiple offers). Typically, the higher the price range, the longer a home will take to sell.
On average, luxury homes are taking 85-100 days to sell. Any price range can take two to four weeks longer to sell in 2019. Nationally, prices increased 4.5-5% and took 45 to 65 days to sell. Core Logic recently predicted national home values to rise 4.4% in 2019.
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty published its February 2019 year-to-date (YTD) Denver numbers comparing the market to February 2018. The amount of properties sold was up 1% (all price ranges), the average days on the market was 40 vs. 32 days last year, and there were 12% more listings, which is encouraging. The average sold price is nearly 7% higher over the prior 12 months.
Luxury homes (over $1 million) have experienced a healthy market, but in a different fashion. In the last 12 months, (year-over-year) reports show the number of properties sold rose 46%, average days on the market was 105 days, and prices rose slightly to 1% higher.
I am always surprised at the amount of deals that fail to come together or fall apart after being under contract. According to MLS statistics, approximately 30% of all homes that go under contract will ultimately terminate for a variety of reasons: 1) low appraisals 2) buyer didn’t qualify 3) inspection items that could not be successfully negotiated. Many of these issues are definitely avoidable. Buyers and sellers make plans based on contract dates, so it is disappointing and adds time-consuming stress when the process must start over.
Which brings us to #4. Your choice of broker. A good, quality and well-experienced broker helps you avoid costly mistakes, favorably negotiates inspections, and helps you navigate the complicated process. As a seller, interview two or three brokers, focusing on how well they will present your home to the market, how well they communicate and represent you, and who will achieve best possible price in a reasonable time frame. Do not choose the broker who tells you the highest price hoping to get the listing, as this leads to more time on the market and less net money. Be willing to pay for quality and value, as it will make and save you the most money.
Tell your broker how you prefer to be communicated with during any transaction. Texting and emails are excellent to relay updates and convey certain information. However, using technology to navigate through the negotiation process of buying or selling a home will be the least effective communication form, leading to misinterpretations. Face-to-face communication, (when you can hear tone of voice or see body language) can only help any relationship, let alone important transactions.
So, today’s words of wisdom; choose a great real estate broker that understands how to use tools of technology to complement their real estate expertise. Because technology without ability and competence…is not much.