The search for a home today ended with disappointment for my buyers. Yesterday weBe MIne were ecstatic to learn the home we lost 2 weeks ago had come back on the market. As soon as I learned of the other buyer's deal falling, I hustled my clients over to the house to take another look.

It seems the buyers that beat us out discovered an issue with the furnace, it didn't work. The seller opted to replace the furnace, but other details unknown to me caused the buyers to back out of the deal. My guess? Someone's ego got in the way.

Their loss was our gain. My clients have been in mourning over losing this house. Imagine my excitement to learn the home was back on the market!

This time we managed to rewrite our offer, raising our offer price to match what the seller had previously agreed too. I wasn't sure this offer would now be good enough since the seller had additional expenses to improve the home. Needless to say, we decided to start at a fair price, higher than when we left off.

Unfortunately, it didn't work. Another offer came in with a better bottom line for the seller. He sold the house to them.

Again we are left out in the cold.

So what did we learn?

Denver has significant inventory of houses on the market. Most of which are not priced well and/or show poorly. In my experience if we tour ten homes, one out of that ten will be far better than all the others. This one home will be clean, neat, well kept and generally show it has been "loved!" This home will be the one that sells.

What I am seeing in the Denver real estate market are quite a few buyers looking for this specially "loved" home. When found it is not unusual to have competition in the bidding of the home.

Strange as it seems, it does make sense. Buyers sometimes fail to remember they aren't the only consumers searching for The Home! Others are searching at the same time, looking at the same poorly positioned inventory as you. When the "loved" home is found, everyone wants it!

Lessons can be learned on both sides of the real estate transaction.

As a seller, it is obvious to take the time to make your home stand out. Make it better than the competition. By taking the time to make it shine, you will lesson your DOM (days on market). Proper presentation will result in a quicker sale, most likely at a higher price, most every time.

Buyers lessons are a little more difficult;

  • Time is of the essence. If you find The Home, don't delay, write it up before someone else does.
  • Be prepared to move (physically) to match the seller's needs. By being prepared to work with the seller on this negotiation item, you stand a better chance of gaining on an alternative negotiation item.
  • Don't be lured into a false sense of security because of what you read in the newspapers. The news you read is about a collective real estate market. The Denver real estate market is anything BUT collective. Each sale in each neighborhood is as unique as your finger prints. Homes are selling. Proof is easily found by looking at the sold comparables in the neighborhood.
  • Leave your ego locked in the car. Buyers and sellers get crosswise for the darnedest reasons. Take care not to let an ego item quash the sale of a home that meets your criteria. It really isn't worth walking away from a home over a silly emotion.

So you are probably thinking, why did we miss out? That is a question that crosses my mind frequently. Part of the problem was lack of trust.

Trusting the system is very hard to do. Believing what we were hearing was a leap, the home had been on the market well over 100 days, so why now were we expected to accept there were multiple offers? Well I could tell by several clues the house was being shown, so I knew the agent probably wasn't lying.

Conveying this knowledge to the buyer didn't help, they didn't trust the information was true. They believed the other agent was delivering a "sales pitch."

I don't blame my clients for not trusting the other agent's information. Sales pitches in real estate are part of life, unfortunately... but Life leaves clues. We must learn to look for and trust the clues.

As an old time Realtor, I trust the clues, but I don't make the decisions for my clients. I just deliver the information, it's up to them to develop the strength to make the right decision.

They will.

For now we will regroup, look at some more homes. Eventually another home will come on the market and next time we will jump on it...with confidence.

Disappointment is just another emotion in the home buying process. We live, we learn we get on with the process of buying a home.

Besides I heard "the third time is a charm."