Tag Archives: Denver Real Estate Trends

Market Watch Metro Denver

This past weekend I worked with 4 separate buyers.  Sounds exhausting?  Well it was, but not how you would think.

Typically when working with a buyer you set appointments, probably 5-7 on homes that might fit their budget and other criteria.  Well those days are past.  Now we are lucky to see that many homes in one outing.  The most homes I showed to one buyer this weekend was 4!  That’s because that’s all there were!

Buyers are Soaking up the Housing Inventory!

What’s happening in the Denver market?  We have a shortage in inventory and an abundance of buyers.  Our inventory is getting soaked up by anxious buyers wanting to become home owners before the interest rates go up.

Take a look at the 7-day stats for these Metro Denver Counties, look at the number of listings taken vs. the number of Under Contract.  That should explain why finding homes to look at is so difficult right now.

Sales Activity in Metro Denver Counties over the last 7-Days


City and County of Denver

Jefferson County

Jefferson County

Elbert County

Elbert County

Broomfield County

Broomfield County

MarketWatch-Arapahoe County

Arapahoe County

Adams County

Adams County

 What Does This Mean for Buyers?

If you are in the market to purchase a home, you will need to be ready.  Many homes are receiving multiple bids that means buyers who are qualified to buy and can prove it will win the bid.  Bidding wars can be brutal but have become a fact of life in the Denver real estate market, so be ready to bid over list price.  If you are a buyer who has a contingency ( a house to sell) sell your home and remove that contingency.  The reality is, the home owner is going to pick the BEST bidder from all the offers. The best may or may not be the highest net to them.  Sellers want to be assured their home will sell, so they look at many factors, including the buyer’s ability to sell, contingencies and net proceeds.

What Does This Mean for Sellers?

After many years of getting beaten up sellers are finally in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiation.  Sellers are enjoying the luxury of very few days on market, multiple offers, over list price offers and quick closings.

Still sellers need to beware that many buyers will over bid your home knowing it won’t appraise.  If the buyer doesn’t have the means to pay the difference you won’t be enjoying that extra cash from the sale of your home.  If this is the case be sure your buyer has the ability and is WILLING to pay the difference. If they aren’t able and not willing their offer is just a cloud of wishful dust.  All you will have to show from this contract is wasted time!

What Does the Future Hold?

At this rate I am wondering if in April we will reach a point where there are ZERO listings to sell?  Is it possible?  I certainly hope not.

What do you think? Will we run out of properties to sell or will sellers decide to get into the market?

By the way out of my 4 buyers I found homes and went under contract for two of them.  The other two are still in the market.  We will continue our search!

Call direct 720-279-4599

Home Owners – The Time to Sell is Now!


Denver Real Estate News

Housing inventory is down, buyers of homes are having a hard time finding homes to look at, much less purchase.  This may be news to many, because it seems just a short while ago we couldn’t see the end of distressed homes and other homes coming on the market.  Well those days are gone!

If you are a homeowner that became a landlord because there was no other choice, your time to sell may be here!  Values are increasing in Metro Denver.  If your mortgage was “upside-down” before, that has changed or is in the process of changing.

Don’t wait!

The dynamics in the market could be short lived.  Currently we have extremely low interest rates with many buyers wishing to take advantage of them.  If the rates go up (an they will!) the purchasing power of buyers will go down.  This effects the sale amount buyers can afford, and ultimately it will effect the increasing values that we see now.  We don’t know when interest rates will go up, but when they do the market will slow down.

Are you a reluctant Landlord?

If you have a rental home that you would like to sell, but it is leased, you can still sell your rental, lease and all to a buyer.  We have buyers ready and waiting!

If your tenant’s lease is going to be up soon, we can work together with them to have a closing that compliments the end of their lease.

Scarcity & Demand = Good News for Sellers!

Whether you are a homeowner who is looking to move up, downsize, short sell, reluctant landlord waiting for the right time, now is a good time to sell.  The lack of inventory in the market means buyers are competing, they come prepared to pay more than the next guy, they tend to not ask for the picky things to be fixed and they appreciate the opportunity to own a home.  A homeowner couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in.

Just need to talk?

Having solid information before you make your decision is important.  I can help you.  Let’s talk about your options, is it truly the time to sell? How much is your home worth in today’s market?  How much will it cost to sell your rental home?  These questions can be answered, just call.  I welcome your call.

P.S. If you haven’t seen your rental in a long time, perhaps you’d like a picture?  Call me.  I’ll drive by and email you a photo of your rental.  It’s nice to know all is well!


Denver Real Estate Market Update

As we watch the Denver real estate market there are notable improvements and a few trends to watch.

The average single family residential sales price increased 17% from December of 2008, and 6% over November of 2009.  While the Denver area market has not yet recovered to the high water mark of $409,000 set in 2007, a 17% improvement from the same month last year is very positive.

Available listings continue to decrease, both month to month and year over year.  Although some market segments, especially over $500,000, have a very slow absorption rate, the lower end of the market has slipped into a seller’s market.  We can expect a multiple offer market for well priced, well maintained properties, at least in the first 6 months of 2010.

The Denver MSA unemployment stands at 6.8% over 3% points lower than the official national unemployment rate.  While there is no question that many people are underemployed and that the rate of compensation has lessened, the Denver MAS is one of the strongest of any major city in the country.

The lower sales and closing volume of December 2009 vs. December 2008 relates in part to the run up of sales in October and November to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, which was not officially extended until mid-November.

We can expect a competitive market for properties priced under $300,000 in March and April.

Entering the New Year, the interest rate for 30 year fixed rate mortgages is hovering around 5%. That will not last as both the market and inflationary pressures exert themselves.

The condo market will continue to be slow and a drag on the overall residential market. this has been historically true when the economy starts to recover from recession.

Recent Case-Shiller reporting (for the October market and NOT relying on Metrolist data) indicates the Denver MSA showed a year over year loss of -.01, making Denver the STRONGEST market in the country, with Dallas behind at -.06. It is  possible that the Denver area market will show positive appreciation for November, the first time in over 2 years.

Contributed by Larry D. McGee, Managing Broker The Berkshire Group, Realtors

Homeowner Benefits of Real Estate Short Sales

Short Sales can benefit both the bank and the homeowner when an acceptable agreement can be reached.

For the home owner in distress,  being able to sell the home without coming to the closing table with money  he doesn’t have is a huge relief.  Avoiding foreclosure by short sale does not have the huge credit damage  a foreclosure carries.  In fact a homeowner who maintains good credit after a short sale will be eligible to apply for a Fannie Mae loan as soon as 2 years after the foreclosure.   Homeowners who lose a home for foreclosure are required to wait at least 5 years before they can reapply for a Fannie Mae loan.

The negative effects of having a foreclosure on one’s record never goes away, it becomes a permanent scar on one’s credit history.

Remember that credit is money ~Benjamin Franklin

A short sale is not recorded as a negative, because of the nature of the transaction.  When the bank agrees to accept less than the owed amount, the debt is paid off in full upon sale. No black mark on the credit.

It is important to note delinquent payments will impact the credit score.

In addition to impacting credit, foreclosure may also have a negative effect on current and future employment.  Many jobs require the applicant to have impeccable credit.

From the perspective of the bank, providing a short sale to the consumer means getting a non-performing asset gone from the balance sheet.  A short sale provides a shorter, less expensive bottom-line than does the foreclosure process.

Assuming a homeowner has no choice but to sell the property and move on, a short sale makes sense despite the inherent risks associated with actually getting it done.

Real Estate Short Sales are Anything BUT Short!

Despite the obvious benefits for both sides, short sales are not easy to accomplish.

Mortgage financing in Colorado became very creative over the past decade.  Most homeowners have more than one mortgage on their home.  In addition, there are typically other liens on properties besides the mortgage.  Liens for taxes, Home Owner Association dues are often present; all these need to be negotiated and cleared when a property is transferred to the new owner.

The process is tricky and often very messy.  It takes determination and constant contact plus frequent communication with all involved.

The benefits outweigh the risks, so now what?  Tomorrow I’ll explore how to get started on a short sale.

Guidelines For Loan Modification

RandRsignAs my teenage kids were growing up, whenever they needed advice I told them “Don’t fall asleep on the Railroad Track”.

Silly as it seemed this little statement got their attention and they knew I meant for them to pay attention and look around for when to get out of harm’s way.

I guess I could dispense the same advice to homeowners currently in trouble with their mortgages.

When people are in financial trouble they often look to others for help and advice.  Currently we have many Americans in trouble with their mortgages through no fault of their own.  It is comforting to know there is help and there are choices.

Don’t Fall Asleep on the Rail Road Track, Consider Your Alternatives and React Now.

The choices to be made are whether or not to ask the mortgage company that holds your loan if they will do what is called a Loan Modification.  This type of assistance coming at a time when one really needs some help to hold onto the house until a new job is obtained or whatever is necessary to gain financial strength.

A loan modification is when the lender agrees to work with the homeowner in order to make the mortgage payments “doable” so the homeowner can avoid foreclosure.

Modifications can consist of a variety of different work outs for the loan holder.

  • The mortgage company can rewrite the loan so the interest rate is more affordable to the home owner.
  • The mortgage company can allow the borrower to skip payments for a period of time, placing those payments on the end of the loan (in reality extending the length of the loan)
  • Reduce the total amount of the loan (this is more of a short SALE process than a loan modification)

Not everyone who wants one can qualify for a loan modification. There are requirements that must be meet and there are never any guarantees. The lender has final say on whether or not to grant a loan modification.

Guidelines to Qualify for a Loan Modification

  • Do you qualify for Loan Modification? (you must answer “yes” to all the following questions):
    • Is your home one to four units? (Single-family home, duplex, triplex, etc.)
    • Is it your primary residence?
    • Is the balance on the first mortgage less than $729,750?
    • Did you get your mortgage before January 1, 2009?
    • Do yo owe more on your mortgage than your house is currently worth?
    • Are you having trouble paying your mortgage payment?
  • Gathering all the supporting documents, you will need (but not limited to) the following:
    • Loan documents on all the mortgages to your home
    • pay stubs and/or proof of all household income
    • statements from all current debt including student loans, car loan, credit cards, etc.

Facts of Life About Loan Modifications

  • Not everyone can quality for a loan modification
  • It can take anywhere from 30 to- 6 months to complete a loan modification
  • Many lenders are overwhelmed and under-staffed

How to Start a Loan Modification

As with most things the person who must start the loan modification is the one who needs it.  Yes, this might be a difficult telephone call to make, but if it isn’t made the bank isn’t going to call and ask  you first.  The first step will be to call the mortgage company that holds the loan and begin the conversation.  Be polite, explain the situation and be prepared with the pertinent substainiating information.

  • All Loan Numbers
  • Income statements, pay stubs
  • List of debts

Treat all conversations with the mortgage company like a business

  • Get each person’s name and contact information,
  • log it into your notes with the time, date and content of the conversation
  • Each step of the way, ask “what is my next step?”
  • Schedule follow up dates on a calendar and follow up.
  • Above all, always be polite. Keeping in mind the mortgage company does not HAVE to help

Start Planning Tactics for Plan B and C

Considering the length of time involved to obtain a loan modification, it is a good idea to be proactive in other escape plans.  Remember as time passes the time the bank will allow before filing a Foreclosure Notice is passing too.  Each day gets closer to the lose of the house, so planning another strategy is wise.

  • Call a Broker and discuss what it will take to sell the property.  If there is a short sale involved, getting started with that may be necessary
  • Checking out the possibility of refinancing with another lender might work, if there is in fact an income stream.
  • Talking to a bankruptcy attorney to determine if that is a possibility is also a plan

It might not be necessary to use any of these strategies if the loan modification is approved. But if it isn’t the options will be very clear as to which way to go.  Losing a home to foreclosure is the worst thing a homeowner can do. It damages the credit and once a foreclosure is on record it never goes away.

Getting help

There are many people who will claim they can get loan modification for a homeowner.  Some companies are legit and can do what they say.  Many are not. Typically these companies want money up front.  They may even guarantee results. If they do, they are misrepresenting themselves.  No one can guarantee results unless they are the final decision maker.

Before getting involved with a Loan Modification Company, check their record.  Call the Better Business Bureau, Call the Colorado Department of Housing.

How Can I Assist You?

As a full-service real estate broker I work in the Denver Metro area.  If you are facing financial issues and need to sell your home I can help.  If you are interested in discussing the value of your home and other options, please feel free to call me.  I welcome your call.

Kristal Kraft