What are real estate brokers working on these days in Denver? Listings. Sellers are getting their homes ready for the market, and our increase in number of available properties illustrates just that.
We’ve added 1,009 properties in the past month. 767 new single family residences and 242 condominiums. And more are on the way. I predict that the natural growth in inventory this time of year will continue to increase through the spring and may flatten out a bit over the summer.
This is good news for buyers who feel they’ve seen everything but nothing on the market fits their needs. Buyers who are in this boat must understand that they won’t be able to bargain like they once could. With the floor back under our real estate market and Days on the Market continuing to shrink, the bargain has already been factored into the price. On average, properties are selling nearly 12 days faster than they did a year ago.
Another interesting point to notice is average price – up nearly 13% for single family residences from last year. However, the prices were down from December to January. Sellers in December were realists and wanted to get their property sold and closed.
One final interesting tidbit – look at number of properties that went under contract last month. We’re down from last year! What does that mean? It means that sellers, even with all of the good news above, need to stay realistic about their chances to sell their home. We look to written production to forecast what is pending. There were fewer offers written this January than January 2009. So with the increase in inventory, sellers have only two ways to compete – price and condition. You must stay on top of what the market is telling you. And what your broker is telling you! As I’ve said in the past, you can’t market your way out of this.
Do I appear to contradict myself? That’s because every house, every nuance of the transaction, even the players in the deal are all distinct from other deals. Real estate is local, hyper local. One house might be well priced and in analyzing comparable sales should sell for near the asking price. Another house might be very over priced, and based on a similar analysis should be reduced. We also try to quantify for location issues, non-finished basements and improvements. Pricing isn’t an exact science, it’s a bit science and analysis and a bit of a meeting of the minds. This past month 2,353 people had a meeting of the minds in Denver, Colorado.
Gretchen Rosenberg writes LifeStyleDenver. Visit Gretchen’s web site for property searches, mapping and relocation information.