It's no secret that Metro Denver and across the Front Range, we are experiencing a sellers' market. Potential buyers share stories about bidding wars and houses flying off the market in a matter of hours. In a sellers' market, inventory is low and competition is high, so it’s more important than ever to be decisive and move fast.
There’s no way to guarantee success, but if you do these five things, you'll improve your chances of walking away with the Colorado home of your dreams.
1. Work with an agent you trust.
Your real estate agent will be on the front lines with you, so it's important that you find a person who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone you like spending time with. Because, let's face it, in a sellers' market, the home buying process may take a little while. At COListings, we have many experienced Colorado realtors. Whether you prefer working with someone who has a youthful perspective or decades of experience, a houseful of kids or a bachelor(ette) pad, we will match you with an agent who is the best fit for you and your family.
2. Be prepared.
Sellers have more options than ever, so they can afford to be picky when selecting a buyer. Increase your appeal by getting pre-approved for a home loan. The process can take a few days to a week. You will need to complete an application with a lender that requires information about your income, employment status and tax forms. You may be asked to submit documents like your W-2s or 1099s for the last few years, bank statements, paystubs, or proof of your assets. The lender will provide a pre-approval letter that indicates the loan amount and interest rate. It doesn't constitute a binding a agreement, but if there are no major changes, the terms will likely remain the same.
3. Don't be a weekend warrior.
Of course it's easier to house hunt on the weekend. But in this kind of market, houses that come on the market Monday probably won't last the whole week, and they may even be gone by the end of the day. Create an account on COListings.com and save any listings you like. Chat online with an agent immediately to ask any questions and set up a showing that day, if possible. You can schedule showings for the weekends as well, but make sure you see the houses you love as soon as possible.
4. Add a personal touch.
It may seem over the top, but some buyers have had luck writing a letter to the sellers of their favorite property to tell them why they love it. Even though buying a home is primarily a business transaction, people grow attached to the houses where they lived and created memories. Did they raise their family there? Tell them how their home is a perfect place for your young family to grow. Let them know you plan to maintain their carefully manicured yard or to keep that tree fort in the backyard for your own kids to use.
5. Be a strategic bidder.
These days, the list price of a home is not necessarily an accurate reflection of its value or an indicator of the eventual sale price. With less inventory and rising prices, buyers can find themselves bidding against one another and over the list price. It can be an emotional process, but our agents are here to offer you some perspective and a friendly, knowledgeable ear. We'll discuss what similar homes in that area are worth, the house's specs, like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage, but also the intangibles, like the neighborhood's ambiance, the quality of the school district and other amenities. We'll also talk about your financial situation and what you can truly afford and be comfortable spending, without buyer's remorse.
Another thing to consider when making a bid is your particular situation. If you have been looking for awhile and feel you have finally found your dream home, it might make sense to bid higher than if you just started your search.
Interested in buying or selling your Colorado home? Contact us to learn more.