Jan. 9, 2017

Tips for Buying a Home Infograph

Tips to buy a home

Posted in Buyer Tips
Jan. 9, 2017

FHA Lowers MIP Saves Borrowers Money!

Homeowners thinking of using FHA for financing their next home will be happy to learn the mortgage insurance premium will be decreased by .25% starting on January 27, 2017.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) said this reduction will allow more "responsible borrowers" to purchase a home. On average the savings will be $500/annually for borrowers.  

FHA Mortgage payments consist of interest, principal and MIP.  Mortgage Insurance Premiums are used to insure the lender against the borrower's default.  FHA allows borrowers to finance a home with as little as 3.5% down payments.  Since the borrower doesn't have a lot of "skin in the game" the lender off-balances that with mortgage insurance.

While lowering the MIP payment is a good thing, interest rates are rising so the effect might not stimulate many new buyers as the savings will be a wash.

As with any financing, the best advice I can give is to work with a good lender, one who is consultative and will provide you with options to fit your situation.

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
July 19, 2016

Should I Wait Until Next Year or Buy Now?

Denver Real Estate News

It is not news that the Denver real estate market is on fire!  Everyday I speak with potential buyers who are wanting to become homeowners.  Sadly they are finding that each month they can afford less and less of a home, because prices are going up at a steady pace.

Some homebuyers are giving up, but others recognize the importance of hanging in there. This infographic tells the story of why!  Waiting to purchase means becoming a homeowner will cost you more.

If you are a homebuyer wanting to find your home, please call me.  Me and my team will assist you until we get the job done!  

Buy a home now or wait

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
July 4, 2016

First Time Buyers Dominate

Buy a Home in DenverFirst time home buyers may often feel they are alone in the Denver real estate market. But the reality is they aren’t!

 “In May, first-time buyers accounted for 59.1% of primary owner-occupied home purchase mortgages with a government guarantee, according to the International Center on Housing Risk. This share was up measurably from a year ago.”

Home Buyers have Assistance

Buying a home has become easier for those first time buyers.  Lower down payments, down payment assistance programs, 100% gifting allowed from parents, historically low interest rates and lots of employment opportunities in Metro Denver are all reasons making it easier for first time buyers to buy a home.

The Challenge is in Finding and Negotiating

The biggest challenge is finding the home!  The inventory of homes for sale is not very large, but it is consistent.  The biggest change here than from in the past, home buyers must be patient and diligent. It takes time to find a home, bid on it and have your offer accepted.  I’ve written about how to do this previously in “How to write a Clean Offer.”

 

So if you are a first time buyer don’t give up.  Research the best methods for obtaining your home and give me a call.  I’m happy to assist you!

Posted in Buyer Tips
June 28, 2016

All Lenders Are Not Equal

Denver Real Estate News

U S Bank Staff Person Had Years of Experience but Still Couldn't Get Job Done!

US Bank FailIn the trenches of my business life, I spend a lot of time fighting for my clients. It’s been a wild and crazy year selling real estate.  I’ve had several buyers who were employed with good income and credit scores basically get TAKEN by mortgage lenders.  Let me tell you about it.

Toward the end of 2015 I started working with a nice gentleman who had read up on buying a home and visited his local lender to get prequalified. He did this all before he consulted with me.  I was naturally impressed that he took the initiative and so we went off to find him a home.  

It didn’t take long before we were under-contract with a nice home in N. Denver.  Then the horror began.  The lending institution was U.S. Bank.  Their staff person was the horror.  To make a very long story short I will synopsize.  My buyer kept getting the run around from the lender.  She kept asking for “inspections.”  We normally do an inspection but then she wanted the inspection items reinspected, despite the fact the seller had the issues fixed and provided proof in the form of receipts.  Re-inspections were not only expensive and unnecessary but not customary!

Additionally, she at U.S. Bank failed to tell my client he had to make an appointment with another institution to submit an application for the 2nd mortgage (assistance program) she had placed him in.  By failing to do this she set the loan approval date back by over a month.  This delay brought my client very close to being homeless! He had spent all his additional funds on non-customary inspections and engineer reports, he had given notice to his landlord and now he had no place to live.

At this point the failure of the U.S. Bank staff person to meet the contractual deadlines cost not just the buyer additional funds, but the seller as well. The seller was an estate and failing to close in the calendar year meant the estate got dragged out for another year!

Lucky for us the listing agent suggested we move the loan (Lucky also because they didn’t throw us overboard and let us extend the closing date!).  We were delighted to do so because by this point we had ZERO confidence in the U.S. Bank staff person.  I had gone “over-her-head” to see if we could get a solution, but her superior officer was just as inefficient.

So we moved the loan and started the process over.

The new lender put us in her “HERO LOAN.” Why? Because she got it done in less than 3 Weeks!  My client ended up having a better loan package with a grant for his down payment and not a 2nd loan!

Now for the IRONIC part. The loan was brokered thru U.S. Bank! Only the players had changed!

Not all lenders are equal, that's for sure!

Part II - Online Convenience Comes with a Price!

Another client came to me. We found a home for him within a day!  I suggested he consult with one of my preferred lenders, but instead he decided to use a big online lender.  The big online lender who’s name starts with a “Q” did a good, timely job to get the buyer approved.  No kidding he was putting over 20% down!  

But at closing the shock came.  

The loan costs were excessive by $6000!  Holy cow, that’s a year’s worth of car payments on a pretty nice car!

Every story has a moral to it.  Here’s the moral to this story, consult a Realtor before making a decision on your loan.

There’s more to evaluating a loan than just the interest rate.  There’s the reputation of the lender, the closing costs comparisons, can they get the job done?  If it’s their first rodeo do you really want to risk it? 

As a buyer you spend money when you start your loan, inspection costs are not fees you will ever see again if you don’t get that financing.  Who wants to risk that?  I certainly don’t!

Take the time to interview a lender or two.  Ask for references from a Realtor. We work with these folks all the time, we know who is competent and who isn’t.  That’s what we do.

 

 

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
June 26, 2016

Celebrate the 4th of July in the Metro Denver Region

Where to Find 4th of July Fireworks Celebrations in 2016

 

It's that time of year to celebrate our Freedom!  Here's a collection of Metro Denver areas that are celebrating.  Hope you get to enjoy the fireworks this year.

 

Please note the following rules with regard to fireworks, we must protect our homes too!

The Law: Under the International Fire Code, Section #33, (Adopted by the City & County of Denver)

  • 3301.1.3 “possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling, and use of fireworks are prohibited”
  • 3301.2.2 “No person shall construct, a retail display, nor offer for sale…explosive materials, or fireworks”
  • 3302.1 Definition-Fireworks
    “Any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect for entertainment purposes by combustion, deflagration or detonation…, 1.4G Fireworks, formerly known as Class C, or 1.3G Fireworks, formerly known as Class B-Special Fireworks.

If you have to light or ignite, it's illegal!!!

Denver Independence Eve at the City & County Building

Most Independence Day Celebrations are scheduled for Monday, July 4, 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Arvada 

Arvada's annual Fourth of July celebration of the Spirit of America will continue on Monday, July 4 at the Lutz/Stenger Complex, W. 58th Avenue and Oak St. just west of Kipling, starting at 4:00 p.m. Festivities organized by Arvada Festivals Commission, the City of Arvada, KOOL105 Radio, and Apex Park and Recreation District include live music, kids' amusements, a classic car show, a military display, great food, and a spectacular fireworks display. Admission is Free. Parking will be available on a first come, first served basis (including handicapped parking) beginning at 3:00 P.M. in the Lutz and Stenger parking lots.Call 720-898-7400, or go to Arvada.org for more information.

Aurora 

The 4th of July Spectacular fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. All activities, live music and entertainment take place on Aurora’s Great Lawn located on the west side of the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, on Monday, July 4. Free activities for kids abound with face painters, balloon twists, a stilt walker and craft making throughout the evening. Don’t forget to tune your radios to Studio 1430 KEZW, our radio partner, where you can hear the fireworks choreographed to classic beats. Limited seating is available on the Aurora Municipal Center lawn. The fireworks also may be viewed from surrounding areas. Best viewing locations include east of Potomac Street, south of Sixth Avenue, north of Mississippi Avenue and west of Buckley Road. Visit AuroraGov.org 

Boulder 

Fireworks spectacular at Folsom Field at the University of Colorado with Ralphie's Independence Day Blast. Fireworks, choreographed to live music, begin at 9:30 p.m. Gates open at 8 p.m. and program begins at 8:30 p.m. Admission to the fireworks display is free. For more information about parking and shuttle buses, go to Boulder4thofJuly.com.   Call 303-441-3333 to report illegal fireworks in Boulder.

Brighton

Fireworks at Carmichael Park, 650 E. Southern St., on July 4. We will "Brighten the Brighton" sky at 9:45 p.m. Come at 6 p.m. and enjoy the music, concessions and other activities in the park. For more information, call the event hotline: (720) 685-7339. Learn more at BrightonCo.gov

Call the non-emergency hot line at 303-288-1535 to report illegal fireworks in Brighton, Northglenn and Adams County.

Broomfield

Great American Picnic and Fireworks Extravaganza will be held at Broomfield County Commons, located at 132nd and Sheridan on July 4. We start our celebration at 5:30 p.m. with children's entertainment and carnival games. At 7:15 p.m. enjoy a free concert. Bring your picnic dinner or enjoy a hot dog grilled to perfection for a minimal cost at the park. After the concert, at dusk, the fireworks display begins, approximately 9:15 p.m. at the Broomfield Commons. For additional information, call (303)-464-5530 or visit broomfield.org/events.

Call 303-438-6400 to report illegal fireworks in Broomfield.

Castle Rock 

A new venue for the 4th of July Fireworks in Castle Rock will be from the Santa Fe Quarry butte above Red Hawk Ridge Golf course, starting at sundown on Monday, July 4. There will not be a designated park for viewing but the fireworks should be seen from most places in Town.

Commerce City

On July 4, the fireworks will start after the Rapids game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Free family festivities kickoff at 5 p.m. with a kid’s circus, karaoke, live 80s band, zip line, mechanical bull, climbing wall and many other activities for all to enjoy. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. from Dick’s Sporting Good Park. Tune into 92.5 The Wolf to hear music show along with the fireworks! More information available at To learn more go to ColoradoRapids.com or to the official website 4thFestColorado.com or call 303-727-3500.

Denver 4th of July Celebration Fireworks

Denver 

Denver celebrates the 4th on the 3rd with its annual Independence Eve celebration at Civic Center.  There will be first come, first served lawn seating for its free concert, bring your own chairs or a blanket.  The City and County Building Light show is a 8 with the Fireworks following.

Glitch Gardens will offer a dusk fireworks display too.

Call 720-913-2000 to report illegal fireworks use in Denver.

Englewood

Fireworks display will be launched from the baseball fields at Cornerstone Park at 9:30 p.m. on July 4th and can be seen from Belleview, Progress and Cornerstone Parks. There will also be games, entertainment, food and fishing on hand starting at 11 a.m.. To see the full schedule, call (303)762-2680 or go to City of Englewood. As a reminder, all alcohol, glass containers, pets and fireworks are strictly prohibited.

Erie

Erie celebrates the 4Th on the 3Rd at Colorado National Golf Club, 2700 Vista Parkway. Activities begin at 5 p.m. Fireworks to follow at dusk

Firestone

4th At Firestone will be held on July 4th ends with fireworks launched from Saddleback Golf Course at 9:30p.m.The event will feature a parade with over 60 entries, vendor and craft exhibitors. Free live music, prizes, and one of the best fireworks displays in the area by Tri-State Fireworks. For more information call 303-833-3291 or go to http://www.ci.firestone.co.us/.

Glendale
Fireworks are scheduled for FRIDAY, July 1rd at 8 p.m.  As in years past, the fireworks will be launched from Creekside Park at E. Virginia Ave. and S. Clermont St. Best viewing is at Cherry and Exposition. Come early to play in the new park just south of the Infinity Park stadium; and then walk up Cherry Street to snag your favorite viewing location because views of the fireworks will be limited from Infinity Park South. Call 303-759-1513 or go to the city's website for more information.

Golden

Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. on July 4 at Lions Park, located 10th and Maple Streets. The Golden Lions Club will sponsor the day's activities at Lions Park. Park in the outlying parking lots to avoid the congestion on 10th St. after the fireworks. Entertainment will be provided all day from various bands. Drawings for door prizes, children's rides and food will also carry on throughout the day. For more information go to GoldenLionsClub.org or call the Golden Chamber of Commerce at 303-279-3113.

Lafayette

This wonderful July 4th celebration is free to the public and will take place from 4 pm – 10pm at Waneka Lake; 1600 Caria Dr. in Lafayette. The celebration will include free kid’s activities, live entertainment, food concessions, lawn games and fireworks at dusk. Donations are being accepted for the fireworks show, contributions are trickling in but we have a long way to go. There are many ways that you can donate. Visit LafayetteColorado.com or call at 303-666-9555.

Call 303-665-5571 to report illegal fireworks in Lafayette.

 

Littleton 

Celebrate Red, White and You on Monday, July 4, 2012 at Clement Park, 7306 W. Bowles Ave. from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 

The 20th annual Fourth of July Family Festival and Fireworks Show will be held on Monday, July 4, 2012 at Belleview, Progress and Cornerstone Parks near the intersection of Belleview and Windermere. With an emphasis on a safe night for families, there will be strict enforcement of laws prohibiting alcohol and personal fireworks. Pets are strongly discouraged. Learn more at Littletongov.org.

Lone Tree 

Lone Tree’s Independence Day Celebration:

The City of Lone Tree’s Independence Day Celebration will continue as planned on July 4th beginning at 3:00 pm with the children’s free bike decorating activity followed by the bike parade at 4:00 pm.
The event officially opens at 4:00 pm at Sweetwater Park and includes musical entertainment from Raising Cain and The Six Million Dollar Band and a large amount of free activities including quad bungee trampolines, climbing walls, face painters, caricature artists, airbrush artists, inflatables, clowns, a petting zoo and the popular Celebration Hat making activity. Food vendors will be onsite to sell refreshments. All activities will conclude in the park at 8:30 pm.

Independence Day Wristbands Required:

Due to safety concerns associated with overcrowding at Sweetwater Park, wristbands are still required to enter the event. Each household in Lone Tree and Acres Green can pick up four (4) wristbands for free and with a $5 contribution to Hearts Across the Miles an additional four (4) wristbands may be purchased. Hearts Across the Miles is a local nonprofit who provides support for American troops overseas.

Wristbands are available for collection and purchase at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons Street, Lone Tree during the following dates and times: visit the City's website at  www.cityoflonetree.com [http://www.cityoflonetree.com or call 303-708-1818.

Louisville

Fireworks on July 4 at Coal Creek Golf Course, 545 West Dillon Road. There's no parking at the golf course. Free shuttle from Louisville Recreation Center and Home Depot. Call 303-335-4536 or go to http://www.ci.louisville.co.us for more information.

Northglenn

Fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. over Webster Lake at E.B Rains Jr. Memorial Park, 117th Avenue and Community Center Drive (S.E corner of 120th and I-25.) Scheduled activities include a pancake breakfast, a bake sale, a kids’ fun area with inflatables and a military recognition. Pedal boats will be available for rent throughout the day and during the fireworks show. Call 303-450-8713 for more information or go to Northglenn.org.

Parker 

Parker’s “Let Freedom Sing!” event takes place 6-10 on July 4, free bounce houses and inflatable activities, local food, live music and the biggest and best fireworks display to date around 9:30 at Salisbury Park, 11920 Motsenbocker Road Visit Parkeronline.org

 

Thornton

 

Fireworks display at Carpenter Park at East 108th Avenue and 11000 Colorado Boulevard at 9:35 p.m. Events prior to fireworks include walk-around entertainers, food and the Longmont Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. and a parachute jump just before fireworks go off. Call 303-255-7800 or CityofThornton.net for more information.

June 25, 2016

Purchase Home with Less Than 20% Down Payment

You Can Buy a Home with Less than 20% Down!  Here’s how…

Denver Real Estate News

Down Payment Assistance ProgramsHome buyers in the Metro Denver real estate market will be happy to know they do not need to have a 20% down payment to purchase a home anymore.  There are several alternatives to consider.  Let me explain.

Homebuyers with 5% or less to put down:

FHA is the most common low down payment method for homebuyers.  Using an FHA mortgage you can have a little as 3.5% down payment (plus closing costs) to qualify for a mortgage.  Another interesting option, if you have a Rich Uncle or a very kind Mom and Dad, FHA will allow for “gift funds” to make that down payment on your behalf.  You still have to have a good credit score and a means to continue making the payments, but this is an easy way to obtain a loan with little down.

Zero Down Payment Options for Homebuyers

Veterans Administration - VA Loans

VA Loans offer zero downpayment options for Veterans who have served our country. In general, active duty and honorably discharged service personnel are eligible for the VA program.  In addition, home buyers who have spent at least six years in the Reserves or National Guard are eligible, as are spouses of service members killed in the line of duty. If you qualify you have the ability to purchase a Primary Residence (meaning a home you personally occupy) without paying a downpayment.

VA mortgage rates are often low compared to conventional financing.  VA loans are a viable choice for military buyers putting down less than 20 percent. 

NOTE: Many people are "fooled" into thinking you must go to a VA Lender to get a VA Loan. This is merely a "marketing technique.  While there may be lenders to say they only do VA Loans, most lenders are fully aware and capable of doing a VA loan. So if you are eligible for a VA Loan, shop around for the best lender just like you would for a Conventional loan.

CHFA - Colorado Housing and Finance Authority 

CHFA offers financing to qualified buyers with only $1000 down.  Once again this is only for your Primary Residence.  CHFA borrowers can have a debt-to-income ratio up to 50%, even if the credit score is below 660. 

CHFA also has a program to benefit those needing help with the closing costs.  They will provide assistance to qualified buyers of up to 5% of the purchase price of the home.  The good news is, this assistance is in the form of a Grant and does not need to be paid back.  But their is a catch!  The interest rate will be higher than the normal interest at the time.  This premium isn’t huge and it will enable buyers to get out of the Rent Paying Trap!  So in the end it is very much worth the effort!

CHAC

Provides down-payment assistance to the borrow in the form of a Second Loan.  The first loan is 80% and the CHAC 2nd is up to 20%.  The borrower needs to put $1000 ($750 for disability program) of his own funds to obtain this financing for costing costs and downpayment.  CHAC offers this program throughout Colorado.

Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus

The Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus Program is a grant program designed to assist low and moderate income individuals and families (income not exceeding $95,880(couple)/$111,860(family or 3 or more).   This program is available to buyers who qualify, it is not necessary to be a first time home buyer.  A FICO Score of 640 or more is required and a debt to income ration of 45.  Buyers must attend a HUD-approved homebuyer education class.

Borrowers for the Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program must contribute at lease 1/2% of the mortgage amount on their own (no gifts allowed).

This time the only communities offering the Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program are: Denver, Arvada, Aurora, Bennett, Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Centennial, Commerce City, Dacono, Edgewater, Englewood, Firestone, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, Parker, Sheridan, Thornton, Westminster, or Wheat Ridge.  In addition, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and Boulder county participate in the program within unincorporated areas.  These areas are subject to change throughout the year, with a potential of other areas joining the Metro Mayors Caucus jurisdictions, so check with your approved lender for changes.

Localized Assistance Programs within Colorado

Various Counties within the State of Colorado offer mortgage assistance programs.  Individual programs have various requirements.  Most follow the standardized qualifying requirements as defined by HUD.  Usually the borrower is required to buy within the city/county limits, attend a home buyer orientation/education class, submit a copy of the inspection report to the agency, occupy the property as their main residence, purchase price may not exceed a set-forth amount, and funds for the program must be available to for borrower to close. Yes, funding occasionally runs out so program availability may change.

Colorado Counties/City Programs in Metro Denver Area

Arapahoe County - partners with CHAC, CHFA and   - Maximum Purchase Price 95% of the Area Median Purchase Price ($224,675 in 2013)

Aurora - Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) - Maximum Purchase Price $228,000

Douglas County - Douglas County Housing Partnership  - Maximum Purchase Price $300,000

Denver City and County 

Summary

Downpayment assistance programs are plentiful and can be a boon to those serious home buyers who are lacking sufficient down payment to purchase a home.  However the reality is in TODAY'S Real Estate Market FINDING a home is a different issue.

Denver Home Buyer Orientation BookAs a buyer's agent I am having to pull out every strategy in the book to find affordable homes and win the negotiation. My team is constantly training and learning how to find home for those Loyal Buyers who want to become home owners.

If this is you and you are committed to another agent, perhaps you should pick up the phone and give me a call! 303-589-2022

We believe an informed buyer makes the home buying process easier and understands the importance of taking care of all the details. That's why we offer a FREE BUYER CONSULTATION and Buyer Orientation Book to all of our Home Buyers.

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
June 23, 2016

One Look, You're Hooked!

OPEN HOUSE, June 25, Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
12687 W. Dorado Place, Littleton, Colorado
Get Directions Click Here
Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS (2 full, 1 half)
2331 Square Feet

This Littleton home is that nice!  Two story with 4-bedrooms upstairs.  It backs to an elementary school so you can either enjoy having no neighbors behind you or the kids can skip to school with minutes to spare!

Bright sunny kitchen with lots of counterspace, all kitchen appliances are included.  The living room has vaulted ceilings to accommodate that huge art piece you've been wanting to get!

There is a custom built entertainment center, that was thoughtfully built to allow access behind it.  No more working with wires you can't see!  The TV, Speakers and Receiver are included with the sale, so after the boxes are unpacked you can unwind in front of the big screen.

The basement is currently a miscellaneous room but can be a recreation room, office, teen get away or want ever you want it to be.  There is also additional storage.

You will enjoy the private backyard. There are mature trees shading one side while the other side gets full sunshine, perfect for creating that garden you've been thinking about.  There is existing flower garden lining the fence and aloneside the home. 

The location is easy to get too. C470 is less than 5 minutes away.  The mountains are within a quick drive for your entertainment.  Shopping is also closeby. 

This home will have you hooked, come see it soon.

What is Your Home Worth?

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Kristal Kraft

The Berkshire Group

303-589-2022

kristal.kraft@gmail.com

L2L Virtual Tours
 
Posted in My Listings
March 5, 2016

Denver Real Estate and Relocation is in the News

It was a big week for Denver Real Estate!

US News and World Report analyzed 100 of the most populous cities in America and determined Denver to be the #1 Best Place to Live!

So this is news? Of course we all who live here  already know this!

Denver won based on high scores in Desirability, Value, Job Market, Quality of Live and Net Migration.  As I've said for years,

People WANT to live in Denver!

Which cities came in next?

  1. Denver, CO
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Fayetteville, Raleigh-Durham, NC
  4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
  5. Colorado Springs, CO
  6. Boise, ID
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. Washington, DC
  9. San Francisco, CA
  10. San Jose, CA

In the same publication there was another report entitled, "Are You Ready to Move to a New City?"  by Devon Thorsby

This report talks about the process of moving and offers advice. The best part of the report is that I am quoted! Yeah!  Here's the link if you care to check it out!

Are You Ready to Move to a New City?

Posted in Current Events
March 1, 2016

So You Want to Buy a House?

Denver Real Estate Update - How to Buy a House in Today's Market

7-day snapshot taken on March 1, 2016 7-day snapshot taken on March 1, 2016

Buyers and brokers alike are finding the Denver real estate market very challenging right now. Why? There is a shortage of homes for sale and a surplus of buyers.  The buyers are anxious to get out of paying the outrageous rental rates and truly want to own a home of their own.

Home sellers are enjoying being in the driver's seat right now. They are listing with a broker and finding their home appealing to more than one buyer. Often there are multiple buyers creating a bidding war that most buyers prefer to avoid.

The image above is something I just grabbed from our MLS, REColorado.  It is a graph of the market activity over the past 7-days in Denver.  As you can see the Under Contract column far exceeds the New Listing column.  It's no wonder buyers are struggling to find a home!

I Want to Buy a House, what must I do?

Get ready, prepare yourself for competition.

  • Be sure you have an experienced agent who knows how to write a "clean contract."  (More about this later!)
  • Get yourself to a reliable, local lender.
  • Be sure your lender prepared to write you a strong "lender letter" as soon as they can.  You need to be sure your lender is available to write this letter in the evenings or on a weekend.  Real estate sales don't follow 9-5 banker's schedules!
  • Confirm your lender is willing to call the listing agent and sing your praises.
  • Talk to your Buyer Broker and make sure they will communicate with the listing agent. (I can't tell you how many times I've received an offer and not a phone call or an email from the selling agent!)
  • Your buyer's agent should have negotiation skills. By this I'm not talking about price only, there are so many nuances in negotiation that will help you get the house, but not cost you more, your agent should work with you to form a realistic strategy.
  • Do a "flexibility analysis" on yourself.  Can you offer flexible terms to a seller? If so what are they?

What kind of HOPE can the Denver Real Estate Market offer a buyer?

  • One in Five homes that go Under/Contract come back on the market. So continue to watch the ones you lost, they may return.
  • Homes are selling, so some buyers are winning.  Work with your agent to determine how to create that winning offer!

How to write a "Clean Offer"

Buyer's take a step to the other side of the transaction.  Think like a seller.  As a seller what sort of offer would you most like to accept?

  • Good offers are written well, all the blanks are filled in, the dates make sense.
  • Clean offers come from buyers whose broker took the time to connect with the listing agent to see what terms the seller would like. By terms I mean 1) closing date 2) possession date
  • Clean offers arrive to the listing agent all together in one email. An offer will include the contract to  purchase, lender letter, disclosures (yes you can get them ahead of time to review), lead based paint disclosure is required by law to be signed prior to signing an offer and must be included with the offer, plus any other docs. In the good old days when all we had is one offer to work with, it was ok to not be as organized. But today when there are 14 offers on a property do you think it is realistic to expect the listing agent to cull through all of them to organize them per buyer?  They may try, but multiple offers mean a stressful time for the agent and the seller. So insist your broker do what they can to bring convenience to the listing agent & owner's life.
  • A clean offer gives the seller enough time to decide.  Yes it would be cool to "force" the seller into responding ASAP. The reality is the seller doesn't have to respond to you at all, much less ASAP!  As seller most likely find an offer with time to think refreshing.  Yes, it would stand out.

All these suggestions might seem silly because anyone with common sense would be performing them properly.  So not true!

As a buyer in today's market it is possible to purchase a home.  One must be ready, flexible and have the patience and you will find a home.

 

Posted in Buyer Tips