Faster

Here’s something true about today’s market.  Properties are selling fast.

Compared to one year ago, the number of days it takes for a property to sell is significantly lower.

The industry term is “Days on Market” or DOM.

DOM is way down.

Here is the comparison of May 2020 versus May 2019:

  • Metro Denver down 22%
  • Larimer County down 19%
  • Weld County down 16%

Initially, this may seem counter-intuitive.  How could homes be selling faster in today’s environment?

Here’s the deal.  The buyers and sellers who are active in today’s market are serious.

There really aren’t ‘tire-kicker’ buyers out looking at properties just for the fun of it.

There really aren’t sellers testing the market to ‘see what they can get.’

For the most part, buyers and sellers are on a specific mission and this mindset is showing up in the numbers.

For sellers especially, this is no time to test the market and be overly aggressive on price.

Properties that are priced right and in good condition are selling and often selling fast.


Posted on June 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Housing Trends, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Prices Still Up

Prices Still Up

It seems that COVID-19 did not cause prices to decrease and certainly didn’t cause them to crash.

Average prices are up compared to last year:

·         2.8% in Larimer County

·         5.4% in Weld County

·         3.3% in Metro Denver

Low supply, sustained demand, and incredibly low interest rates are all fueling the price growth.

 

At Windermere Real Estate we are taking Safer at Home and Social Distancing very seriously.  Our people are following our Safe Showings protocol, staying connected to their clients, and providing help wherever needed.

Posted on June 5, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Housing Trends, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Follow Our Sellers Checklist To Stay Safe While Selling Your Home

 

Staying organized while uprooting your life and moving from one home to another can feel impossible. Not only are you trying to get the best financial return on your investment, but you might also be working on a tight deadline. There’s also the pressure to keep your home clean and organized at all times for prospective buyers. However, one thing you can be sure of when selling your home is that there will be strangers entering your space, so it’s important for you and your agent to take certain safety precautions. Like so many things in life, they can feel more manageable once written down, so we made this handy checklist.

 

  • Go through your medicine cabinets and remove all prescription medications.
  • Remove or lock up precious belongings and personal information. You will want to store your jewelry, family heirlooms, and personal/financial information in a secure location to keep them from getting misplaced or stolen.
  • Remove family photos. We recommend removing your family photos during the staging process so potential buyers can see themselves living in the home. It’s also a good way to protect your privacy.
  • Check your windows and doors for secure closings before and after showings. If someone is looking to get back into your home following a showing or an open house, they will look for weak locks or they might unlock a window or door.
  • Consider extra security measures such as an alarm system or other monitoring tools like cameras.
  • Don’t show your own home! If someone you don’t know walks up to your home asking for a showing, don’t let them in. You want to have an agent present to show your home at all times. Agents should have screening precautions to keep you and them safe from potential danger.

 

Talk to your agent about the following safety precautions: 

  • Do a walk-through with your agent to make sure you have identified everything that needs to be removed or secured, such as medications, belongings, and photos.
  • Go over your agent’s screening process:
    • Phone screening prior to showing the home
    • Process for identifying and qualifying buyers for showings
    • Their personal safety during showings and open houses
  • Lockboxes to secure your keys for showings should be up to date. Electronic lockboxes actually track who has had access to your home.
  • Work with your agent on an open house checklist:
    • Do they collect contact information of everyone entering the home?
    • Do they work with a partner to ensure their personal safety?
  • Go through your home’s entrances and exits and share important household information so your agent can advise how to secure your property while it’s on the market.

Posted on May 25, 2020 at 8:13 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Matthew Gardner Weekly COVID-19 Housing & Economic Update: 5/11/2020

Job growth is critical to the health of the housing market, so on this week’s episode of “Mondays with Matthew,”  Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner analyzes the effect of COVID-19 on employment and what we can expect for the duration of the year.


Posted on May 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Pent Up Demand

We notice a very interesting dynamic in the market right now.

There was clearly a pent-up real estate demand created during the recent time when in-person showings were not allowed.  The numbers back it up.

First, a little background.  During a portion of “Shelter in Place,” all in-person viewing of properties ceased.  Instead, buyers spent time online viewing virtual tours and 3-D photography.

Even though clients could view homes virtually, purchase activity did slow down.

Today, showings are allowed again as long as clear protocols are followed.  We’ve implemented a Safe Showings program to keep our clients protected.

Now, to the numbers.

Through the first two weeks of May 2020, the number of closed properties is down compared to the same time period in 2019.

In most cases these closed properties are a result of purchase agreements that were written in April- a time when in-person showings were restricted.

So, a decrease in closings was expected.

However, the number of new written contracts so far this month is up considerably compared to the same time frame last year.

Specifically,

  • Metro Denver closed properties down 47%
  • Metro Denver new contracts up 6%
  • Northern Colorado closed properties down 41%
  • Northern Colorado new contracts up 19%

So, buyer activity is up compared to last year, even in our current environment.

This speaks to the resiliency of our market and the effect of low interest rates.


Posted on May 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

What ‘s My Home Worth? The Downside to Home Valuation Tools

What’s your home worth?

 

It is a seemingly simple question. However, discovering the worth of your home is more complicated than it might seem. Sites like Zillow, Redfin, Eppraisal, and others have built-in home valuation tools that make it seem easy, but how accurate are they? And if you get three different answers, which one do you believe? Online valuation tools have become a pivotal part of the home buying and selling process, but they’ve proven to be highly unreliable in certain instances. What these valuation tools have made clear is that real estate agents are as vital to the process of pricing a home as they ever were—and maybe even more so now.

 

Every online valuation tool has its limitations. Most are readily acknowledged by their providers, such as “Zestimate” from Zillow, which clearly states that it offers a median error rate of 4.5%. That may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that 4.5% amounts to a difference of about $31,500 for a $700,000 home. For Redfin and Trulia, there are similar variances. When you dig deeper into these valuation tools, it’s no wonder that there are discrepancies. They rely on a range of different sources for information, some more reliable than others.

 

Redfin’s tool pulls information directly from multiple listing services (MLSs) across the country. Others negotiate limited data-sharing deals with those same services, relying on public and homeowners’ records alike. This can lead to gaps in coverage. These tools can serve as helpful pieces of the puzzle when buying or selling a home, but the acknowledged error rate is a reminder of how dangerous a heavy reliance on them can be.

 

Nothing compares to the level of detail and knowledge a professional real estate agent offers when pricing a home. An algorithm can’t possibly know about the unique characteristics of neither a home nor its neighborhood. Curious about what improvements you can make to get top dollar or how buyer behaviors are shaping the market? They cannot provide an answer there, either. That can only be delivered by a trusted professional whose number one priority is getting you the best price in a time frame that meets your needs.

 

If you’re curious about your home’s value, Windermere offers a tool that provides a series of evaluations on your property and the surrounding market. And once you’re ready, we’re happy to connect you with a Windermere agent who can clarify this information and perform a Comparative Market Analysis to get an even more accurate estimate of what your home could fetch in today’s market.


Posted on April 15, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coronavirus Protections for Home Sellers

 

Before you decide to sell, be sure to seriously consider the risks of putting your home on the market right now. Talk with your Windermere agent to discuss your options.

 

❱ While open houses generate interest and traffic, groups are hard to control, and we want to practice “social distancing” when we can. We recommend only allowing showings by appointment; this ensures that only serious buyers enter your home, reducing possible spreading of the virus.

 

❱ Consider vacating the property from list date to offer review date by staying with family or friends or at a short-term rental.

 

❱ Wipe down surfaces following every showing of your home.

 

❱ If you start to feel sick or have knowledge that you have been in contact with someone suspected to have COVID-19, take your home off the market immediately.

 

❱ Ask your agent to pre-screen buyers before they enter your home to ensure they aren’t ill and have not potentially been exposed to the virus.

 

❱ Place a placard in the entry of your home requesting that any person who has recently been ill or may have been in the company of someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 to not enter your home.

 

❱ Provide hand sanitizer throughout your home.

 

❱ It’s common for sellers to provide protective booties for buyers who tour the home; consider also providing disposable gloves.

 

❱ Leave interior doors open so that buyers who tour the home don’t have to touch the handles when entering rooms.

 

❱ Disinfect your home with proper cleaning supplies after every open house.


Posted on April 4, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Staying Safe When Selling Your Home

Staying organized while uprooting your life and moving from one home to another can feel impossible. There’s also the pressure to keep your home clean and tidy for showings to prospective buyers, but your personal safety is an important consideration as well.

When selling your home,  there will be strangers entering your space, so it’s important for you and your agent to take certain safety precautions. Like so many things in life, they can feel more manageable once written down, so we made this handy checklist.

 

Prepare your home:

  • Go through your medicine cabinets and remove all prescription medications.
  • Remove or lock up precious belongings and personal information. You will want to store your jewelry, family heirlooms, and personal/financial information in a secure location to keep them from getting misplaced or stolen.
  • Remove family photos. We recommend removing your family photos during the staging process so potential buyers can see themselves living in the home. It’s also a good way to protect your privacy.
  • Check that your windows and doors are secure before and after showings. If someone is looking to get back into your home following a showing or an open house, they will look for weak locks or they might unlock a window or door.
  • Consider extra security measures such as an alarm system or other monitoring tools like cameras.
  • Don’t show your own home! If someone you don’t know walks up to your home asking for a showing, don’t let them in. You always want to have an agent present to show your home.

 

Talk to your agent about the following safety precautions: 

  • Do a walk-through with your agent to make sure you have identified everything that needs to be removed or secured, such as medications, belongings, and photos.
  • Go over your agent’s screening process so you are both on the same page about phone screening, and how to qualify buyers before showings, as well as personal safety tactics during showings and open houses.
  • Lockboxes to secure your keys for showings should be up to date. Electronic lockboxes track who has had access to your home.
  • Go through your home’s entrances and exits and share important household information so your agent can advise how to secure your property while it’s on the market.

Posted on March 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Bubble Burst

Every so often we will hear a concern that another housing bubble is forming.

To help answer that question it’s valuable to look at the reasons that caused the last one.

There were three main drivers of the bubble that burst in 2008:

  1. Easy Credit – loans were very easy to attain
  2. Over-Leverage – people were using their homes at ATM’s
  3. Over-Supply – too many new homes were being built

Now, let’s compare that to today:

  1. Stricter Credit – the average home buyer today has a FICO score of 755
  2. High Equity – collectively, U.S. homeowners have $19 Trillion of equity in their homes and collective mortgage debt has not increased for 13 years
  3. Under-Supply – today we are building only two-thirds of the new homes being built in 2004 yet the population is much higher

Given this healthy information, we don’t see another housing bubble forming today.

If you would like to see a video recap of our annual Market Forecast you can watch that HERE.


Posted on March 25, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Fort Collins Real Estate, Housing Trends, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Is It Time to Downsize?

Choosing less space often has to do with a desire to live a life that’s simpler. Whether you’re retiring, want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle or your children have moved away, downsizing might be the best option for you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider before making the move and questions to begin asking yourself now.

 

Advantages

  • Increased cash flow.
    • Spend less on your mortgage payment and you are likely to have more money left over for other needs or desires.
  • More time.
    • Cut down on time spent on household chores such as cleaning and vacuuming which will leave you with more hours in the day to do something more enjoyable.
  • Lower utility bills.
    • Costs less to heat and air condition a small home.
    • Less square footage decreases the amount of energy expended.
    • Reducing energy is better for the environment and it helps keep your home green.
  • Reduced consumption.
    • You would likely buy less since you won’t necessarily have the room for it.
  • Minimized stress.
    • Homeowners who have successfully downsized often feel happier because they are no longer overwhelmed by the demands of a larger home.
    • Less responsibility, less housework to do, increased cash flow and flexibility equals reduced stress.

 

Disadvantages

  • Fewer belongings.
    • Moving into a smaller space would mean you would need to give away or donate furniture, books, kitchen supplies, etc.
  • No room for guests.
    • Hosting holiday dinners might be out of the question for a smaller home.
  • Space restrictions.
    • Less space means you could feel cramped.
  • Lifestyle changes.
    • For long-term homeowners, downsizing means changing a lifestyle.

 

What to consider before downsizing

These questions are important to ask yourself because, for some people, downsizing may not be the best option for them.

  1. Does size matter to me?
    1. Think about how much your identity is wrapped in your house.
    2. Is it important for you to have a guest room or a second bathroom?
  2. Will I miss some important things about a more spacious home?
    1. Will moving into a smaller home feel like a step backward?
  3. How will other life events affect my living in a smaller home?
    1. Consider possible scenarios you may not expect such as adult children moving back home or if you plan to add a child.

 

The Cost to You

  1. How much will it cost to replace the furniture?
    1. When you move into a smaller home this means you might have to downsize your furniture to make room.
  2. How much will it cost to get rid of the stuff I don’t need or won’t fit?
    1. It’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to sell or give away the things you don’t need.
    2. Consider things like family heirlooms. What are you going to do with all your antiques or treasures that your smaller home may not be able to accommodate?
  3. How much will I get when I sell my current home, and will it help cover the cost of buying my new home?

 

If you know downsizing is the right option for you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Should I sell first and then buy or buy first and then sell?”. When you’re ready to discuss your options, talk to an experienced Real Estate Agent. 


Posted on February 24, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jon Holsten | Posted in Buying, Living, Selling, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,