Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

By Kentwood CEO and President Gretchen Rosenberg

Top 5 Reasons to Leave Your Shoes at the Door

We all have pre-conceived notions of what our Colorado homes and real estate should be like.

For many people in Colorado that might be a view or a fireplace. For some it’s a gourmet chef’s kitchen and a soaking tub. Nearly everyone these days wants an area they can use as a workspace or for quiet time. The lists can be long or modest, but the best advice my first real estate broker gave me was to leave my pre-conceived notions at the door and be prepared to give a little. Here are 5 lessons from our Kentwood Real Estate brokers who have much hard-won wisdom to impart.

  1. It’s nearly impossible to get everything on your “must have” list. Create a list of A level amenities, B level amenities and C level amenities. Know in your mind that the A list should be very short, and the B’s and C’s will be nice to have, but could end up being crossed off. This applies to commercial real estate as well.
  2. Be open to suggestions from your broker. Real estate brokers are sometimes accused of pressuring buyers into looking at properties they don’t want to see. A great broker (like all Kentwood brokers) will listen intently, with a problem-solving frame of mind. They’ll also have input borne of wisdom. Let them provide suggestions for additional areas of town, insight into why some amenities might not be Colorado typical, or how a shift in price could get you closer to fulfilling all of the A’s and B’s on your list.
  3. Avoid a carpet allowance. (I was going to say “like the plague” but I’m writing this during the current pandemic, so like coronavirus.) Sellers – a carpet allowance doesn’t work anymore. It hasn’t in years. Buyers are watching HGTV and want their new house to “look just like that.” They generally don’t want to have to do any work, any updating or spend additional money. Why would they part with cash when they can finance at 3%?
  4. Know the photos make it look different. Properties are photographed in their best light, with a wide-angle lens and perfectly set for photos. The rooms always appear larger than they are. 3D Virtual tours and virtual (live) open houses are a better way to assess the space, and can be a good stand-in if you can’t be there or want to check some places off your list. The very best way to know if “it’s the one” is to visit the property. You’ll use more of your senses than just seeing photos when you’re actually there. You’ll smell (pets or candles?) You’ll see (what the room sizes really feel like when you’re standing in them.) You’ll hear (birds chirping or train tracks?) You’ll feel (those amazing soft close cabinets or a roll in the floor from settling.)
  5. National news is general, real estate is locale specific. Our Kentwood Commercial brokers have been asked a lot lately about their predictions for how depressed the commercial real estate market will be next year. Our Denver Rental team is asked about rent collections and whether property management is taking a hit. Our residential brokers in both Metro Denver and Northern Colorado are offered opinions on what’s going to happen with home values. It’s all correct, and it’s all wrong. Home values are going up rapidly in certain price points and neighborhoods, while other sellers are having to contend with lack of traffic and price reductions. Warehouses and light industrial real estate are booming, retail is struggling. Most of our property management clients are having no issues collecting rent, but that could also change as the COVID-19 months progress. This is the reason to seek an informed and expert broker. It’s a tough time to try to go it alone.

Leaving your shoes at the door is a metaphor for avoiding pre-conceived notions and being okay with asking for help. Kentwood Real Estate brokers are best-in-class and will help you find your next home, sell your current home, evaluate your commercial portfolio or lease a property. We’re here to help.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate Broker Goes Beyond Realtor-client Relationship as the Ultimate Embodiment that ‘We are All in this Together’

Realtor® Pat Wall gifted her clients socially-distant family porch-portrait sessions to capture a nostalgic moment in history for Denver-area families

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamic of every home and every family across the world, and behind every front door is the story of how individuals are facing the challenges of today. So, Denver-area Realtor® Pat Wall of Kentwood Cherry Creek, a real estate agent with over 40 years in the profession, captured this moment in history for clients with whom she has built relationships with over the decades. 

Pat Wall hosted complimentary family porch-portrait sessions, hiring Denver photographer Emily Spetosky. The stories behind these ‘Porch Photos’ captured include:

  • Photo of parents and their young children having a fun time bouncing on a trampoline with rolls of toilet paper in the air. Wall represented this family in the purchase of their home.
  • Photo of twins that just graduated high school, but couldn’t have a formal ceremony. Wall has known the twins since they were 18 months old, having helped the family find homes in different stages of their lives.
  • Photo of three grown children staying at their parent’s home together for the first time in years, one of whom usually lives in Europe. You can see them sitting, laughing and bonding together. Wall has known the family since they moved to Denver in 1990, having helped them to buy their first home in the Denver area.
  • Photo of parents with a one-year-old baby that said this is the first time in months they got to get dressed up. Wall sold them a home that backs up to a park and lake which is perfect for a child during this time when social distance calls for families to stay home. 

These stories represent an important period in history. The nostalgia that Pat Wall is gifting to these families goes beyond a Realtor-client relationship – it’s the embodiment of ‘we are in this together.’

“Seeing these precious photos reminds me of all of the times we have spent together,” said Pat Wall. “I have known them as teenagers and now they have teenagers! I have seen all of their life events – births, deaths, weddings, graduations and all of their homes. These homes are central to their lives and so it was fitting that they be photographed in them while quarantining. The families enjoyed the experience.”

Pat Wall is a broker associate with Kentwood Real Estate. With over 40 years as an agent, she was designated a Realtor® Emeritus in 2018 by the National Association of Realtors®, an exceedingly rare honor. For more information, visit Kentwood.com. The photographer, Emily Spetosky, started taking Porch Photos in April. For more information on Spetosky, visit EmilyJanPhoto.com.

About Kentwood Real Estate

At Kentwood Real Estate we believe in community. That we accomplish more together. That deep roots matter. We inspire people to imagine the next steps in their life journey. Our brokers are the highest producing, most knowledgeable, caring, and experienced brokers in the country who offer a quality customer service experience. The exclusive affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America in Colorado, Kentwood Real Estate produces more sales volume per agent than 99 percent of all real estate companies in the U.S. The company is comprised of Kentwood Real Estate – DTC, Kentwood Real Estate – Cherry Creek, Kentwood Real Estate – City Properties, Kentwood Real Estate – Northern Properties in Fort Collins, Kentwood Commercial Real Estate, Denver Rental, and Prosperity Home Mortgage. For more information, visit Kentwood Real Estate online at www.kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

How To Manage Multiple Competitive Home Offers

If you’re selling your home in a hot real estate market like Denver or Colorado’s Front Range, it’s likely that you’re going to receive multiple offers. While it may seem like a bidding war would be any seller’s dream, that’s not always the case. The highest bid doesn’t always mean it’s the best situation for the seller, and there are careful strategies to consider when managing multiple competitive home offers.

When your home is at the center of a bidding war, it’s vital to have support from an experienced real estate agent who can help you navigate the situation, minimize the stress and negotiate terms that work best for your unique circumstances. While there are many factors that go into choosing the best offer, here are three important things to consider in determining which is the best offer to choose:  

1. The highest offer isn’t always the best offer.

It may be exciting to get a high-priced offer on your home, but whether or not the offer is a ‘good’ one comes down to more than just the price tag. Buyers can technically offer any amount of money that they want, and when multiple offers are coming in, buyers may become competitive and make an offer that will be a struggle for them to honor. Additionally, if the bidding war drives the offers up too far over the amount that the home is actually worth, the appraisal will come in at an amount that is less than the buyer offered, so they won’t get the funding and you’re back at square one.

2. Consider the contingencies.

The fewer contingencies in the offer, the better. If you have a great offer without contingencies, then that’s the ideal situation. Buyers may want to include a number of stipulations in their offer that can make the deal harder to complete, such as requiring that the home appraises for a certain amount, or has to pass an inspection, or that they must sell their home or get approved for a loan first. Your real estate agent should always do their due diligence to find out what contingencies the buyer needs, and negotiate on your behalf in the buyer’s letter to ensure you are protected in the event that the contingency doesn’t go through.

3. Closing time.

Sometimes buyers want to move in quickly, and sometimes they want to wait for a few months. If you can afford to wait, then it may be worth it to get the higher offer. However, if you need to move quickly, then the time to close should be a significant consideration in choosing your offer. If you want the most money possible and you think your home is worth the price, take the highest offer that makes sense to you. However, remember that sometimes it can be better to take a lower offer that gives you more of what you want, such as a quick closing, no contingencies or whatever else suits your goals.

Ultimately, there’s a big gap between getting your home sold and getting it closed, so it’s important to have an agent by your side that can ensure the offer is legitimate and the home appraises and closes quickly.

As a seller, having a real estate agent who knows how to handle multiple competitive offers on a home is imperative, as it can be easy to mismanage a bidding war. Your agent should help you review the offers critically one by one, and point out the terms that will matter most given the circumstances. Bottom line, don’t go through this process on your own. Having an experienced agent on your side who has expert knowledge on how to navigate these red-hot real estate markets will ensure you get the best deal on your home, and experience as little stress as possible throughout the transaction.

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery

With Colorado and more U.S. states reopening for business this summer, and as people start to return to work, we can expect the economy to begin improving. Most expert forecasts indicate this economic recovery will start to happen in the second half of this year. As we get back to work and the financial landscape of the country begins to turn around, many experts also agree that real estate has the potential to lead the way in the recovery process.

According to Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates:

 “Housing will fare better than expected during this severe downturn.”

In addition, CNBC notes:

“Mortgage demand from home buyers shows unexpectedly strong and quick recovery…The quick recovery has surprised most forecasters.” 

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says:

“Overall, the data lend evidence to the NAHB forecast that housing will be a leading sector in an eventual economic recovery.”

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

One of the big reasons why housing has the potential to be such a driving force is the significant impact it has on the local economy. This impact is particularly strong when a newly constructed home is built and sold. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average new home sale has a total economic impact of $88,416. As outlined in the graphic below, this is a combination of income generated from real estate industries, expenditures, and new home construction.With so many unknowns today, especially in the wake of a worldwide pandemic, one known factor is the bright spark the housing market can play in local and national recovery. Buying and selling a home goes well beyond personal growth and satisfaction – it supports our economy as a whole.

Bottom Line

Looking to buy or sell a home? Visit www.Kentwood.com

According to experts, the economy will begin to recover in the second half of this year. With real estate as a driver, that recovery may start sooner than we think.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Northern Properties Office Joins Exclusive International Real Estate Networks

KRE-LPI-LRE

Kentwood Real Estate is pleased to announce its northern Colorado office has been accepted to esteemed international real estate networks, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) and Luxury Portfolio International®.  The Kentwood Northern Properties office provides first-class relocation services to Fort Collins, Timnath, Windsor and Johnstown.

“Being part of the world’s most esteemed, leading international network of top real estate agents affords our clients great advantages in our global reach combined with our local expertise,” states Gretchen Rosenberg, Kentwood Real Estate President & CEO. “Our Northern Properties office of top brokers embodies the highest-caliber experience and professionalism in servicing homebuyers and sellers in Northern Colorado, a top destination for its picturesque backdrop and active outdoor lifestyle.”

LeadingRE is an invitation-only network spanning over 70 countries and 565 firms with a focus on high-performance and trusted relationships between clients and their real estate team. Luxury Portfolio International is the luxury marketing division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Kentwood’s involvement with the two provides a global reach while retaining local, more specialized expertise.

Kentwood Real Estate Relocation is led by Director of Relocation and Business Development, Jason Exley and Relocation Manager, Heather Albrechtson.

Kentwood Real Estate is an elite team of Realtors® whose exceptional service, local expertise and deep community roots create a market advantage for clients. From the beginning, Kentwood has been built on the foundation of broker excellence. Only the most professional, ethical and knowledgeable top-producing real estate agents are selected to be affiliated with the esteemed brand. To contact Kentwood Northern Properties, located at 2510 East Harmony Road, #202, Fort Collins, Colorado, call 970.300.1985.

About Kentwood Real Estate

Kentwood Real Estate is dedicated to building on its legacy of being “Colorado’s Premier Real Estate Company” through the highest producing, most knowledgeable, caring and experienced brokers in the country who offer the highest-quality customer service experience. Kentwood produces more sales volume per agent than 99 percent of the real estate companies in the U.S. Kentwood Real Estate is comprised of Kentwood Real Estate DTC, Kentwood Real Estate Cherry Creek, Kentwood City Properties in downtown Denver and Kentwood Northern Properties in Fort Collins. For more information, visit Kentwood Real Estate online at www.kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

2019 Promises Lots of Opportunity in the Denver Real Estate Market

Opportunities in the Denver Real Estate MarketHomebuyers and sellers are seeing a lot of opportunity in the metro-Denver real estate market as of late.

Since 2012, homeowners have received incredible appreciation. For those considering selling their home to move-up or to tap into their equity, now is an ideal time to do so. In addition to being in the midst of a seasonal slowdown, over the last few months, the market has been shifting toward balance creating conditions that benefit both buyers and sellers. So, what exactly are these conditions?

More Home Choices for Buyers and Continued Strong Home Prices for Sellers

In November, year to date, housing inventory has increased 46.76 percent compared to last year in the residential market (single-family and condos), but was down 11.82 percent from last month. Those figures reflect that fewer homes sold in the Denver area in November, down 17.27 percent from October, and that dropped the number of sales year to date to less than any in the past three years. For perspective, though, the market has been in the fast lane for several years and is simply shifting to more neutral conditions.

The low months of housing inventory will keep homes prices strong. While the average sold price of $462,344 was down 6.3 percent from the peak price mid-year, it is up 6.47 percent year over year.

Seller’s Market for Homes Priced Under $1 Million

Single-family homes priced under $1 million had three months or less of inventory at the end of November, showing sellers still had control in the bulk of the market. Anything under five months is considered a seller’s market and over six months is a buyer’s market.

Buyer’s Market for Home Priced Over $1 Million

The luxury single-family home segment is sitting at 7.22 months of inventory, and the luxury condo market is sitting at 6.67 months. This is an important indicator as this shows that the ‘luxury market’ (homes priced at $1 million and greater) is officially a buyer’s market.

Overall, 2019 promises to be another strong year for both homebuyers and sellers in the Denver-area. So, rest up this holiday season and get ready for a fresh start come January.

Colorado Real Estate News

Jamie Slough | Featured Agent

Jamie Slough

Jamie Slough

Hometown:

I claim Grass Valley, California since it sometimes shows up on a map but it’s actually a little community about 20 minutes away called Lake Wildwood. I grew up all over the world with a Dad who worked for the Air Force but ended up in California.

What Is One Special Thing About the Place You Grew Up?

There are so many, but I would say just the simplicity of a small town.

What Was Your First Job?

Working at a little sandwich shop called June’s Deli. I still visit her when I’m home.

Hobbies:

Cooking, sewing, photography, and card making.

Describe Yourself In 5 Words:

Caring, Strong-willed, Honest, Creative, Driven

Favorite Colorado Past-time:

Anything with my family…hiking, camping, BBQing.

Favorite Place to Grab a Drink:

Smokin’ Fins in Downtown Littleton. Great food and drinks!

In What Ways Are You Involved in Your Community?

I’m heavily involved in my kids’ schools and support several animal charities.

Who Inspires You?

A good friend and past colleague of mine, Courtney O’Neill. She is such a free spirit and follows her heart no matter how hard it is. She’s not afraid of the road less traveled. She’s one of the kindest, most down to earth people I know.

What Is Your Proudest Accomplishment and Why?

My kids. They are such loving, kind, smart people. They make the world a better place and give me hope for the future.

How Do You Define Success?

Happiness. Money and status don’t mean anything without stopping to enjoy life.

What Career Path Would You Have Chosen If You Didn’t Become a Real Estate Broker?

Marketing. It is still a huge part of what I do in real estate and what got me here.

If You Could Master Any Skill That You Don’t Currently Have, What Would It Be and Why?

Speaking another language. I spent time growing up in Germany where all the other kids spoke multiple languages from a young age. I just think it’s such a versatile skill and allows you to communicate and understand more of the world.

What Is the Most Adventurous Thing You’ve Ever Done?

I’m not a very adventurous person…I would probably say in college when I used to do spontaneous road trips in the middle of the night. My mom used to get the midnight call of, “Hey Mom, just to let you know we’re headed to Vegas (or wherever it was). Call you when we get there!”

What Is Your Favorite Family Tradition?

Mornings at our family cabin in the Sierras. The cabin has no electricity and is heated by wood stoves. My Grandpa would get up early and start breakfast. The kitchen stove pipe ran through the loft where my sister and I slept.  We would carefully touch the pipe in the morning without getting out of our sleeping bags to see how hot it was to determine if it was time to get up. My Grandpa would make “hotcakes” and hot chocolate mixed with coffee for us. Still my favorite place in the world.

What’s the Best Concert You’ve Ever Been To? What Made It So Special?

Randy Rogers Band at the Grizzly Rose a couple years ago. My husband surprised me with tickets for my birthday. It’s one of our favorite bands and we don’t have many date nights so the combination of all those factors were amazing!

If You Could Live in A Book, TV Show, Or Movie What Would It Be and Why?

Heartland on Netflix. Living on a ranch and working with horses all day? My dream life!

Colorado Real Estate News

Denver Housing Market Experiences Seasonal Slowdown

alexander-andrews-457319-unsplashAs the summer housing market starts to draw to a close and the expected seasonal slowdown starts to take root, prospective home buyers might find they have a few more choices before signing on the dotted line.

At the end of July, there were 7,643 single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums on the market. That’s almost a 4% increase in the active inventory from a year earlier. The last time there were more homes on the market in a July was in 2015. The increase in inventory comes at a time when mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise. Although, prices on an annual basis are increasing at a slower pace than in the past few years. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate is now hovering at about 4.5%. Which is still low by historic standards, but about a half of a percent higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile the average price of a single-family home sold last month was $529,124. Down 1.48% from July, but up 7.18% from July 2017. Buyer put 5,764 homes under contract last month, largely unchanged from June, but up 5.24% from a year earlier. Some 5,043 homes sold last month, a 15.65% plunge from July and an 8.54% drop from a year earlier. While the month-to-month may seem severe, it is not an unusual seasonal drop. In fact, in July 2017, home sales fell by almost 20% from June. The sales drop is likely largely due to the double whammy of rising mortgage rates and rising home prices.

On a month-to-month basis, even the luxury home market cooled in August. There were 206 sales of single-family homes and condos priced at $1 million or more in July, a 16.26% decline from June. Still, luxury home sales were up 17.71% from July 2017. The year-over-year increase of luxury homes in July, while the strongest of any price strata, was still substantially below the year-to-date 29.14% sales increase when you dig into seven months of DMAR data. Through July, buyers purchased 1,204 properties, compared with 1,002 in the first seven months of 2017. The total luxury sales volume this year is $1.95 billion, a 28.72% increase from the same period last year. And keep in mind that seasonal drops, are part of the natural cycle.

Despite slower sales and a rising inventory, the single-family home market ended with a 1.59-months of inventory, which is the equivalent of about 4.3 weeks. Meaning if no new supply was added to the market and the sales stayed the same, all the homes would be gone in a little over a month. Perhaps one of the strongest metrics that the sky is not falling is that the months-of-inventory, or MOI, was slightly lower in July than it was year earlier, according to DMAR. Such a low supply is a sign that Denver, overall, remains a strong seller’s market. And there are no signs that the end is near of the Denver bull market for housing.

Colorado Real Estate News

Home Prices In Denver Set Another Record

Property value or real estate sales evolutionTalk about March madness. Last month, home prices in Denver set yet another record. According to the Denver Metro Association, the average price of a single-family home sold in March rose to $522,277. That is a 3.77% increase from February, which marked the first time the average price topped $500,000. And it was up 11.7% from a year earlier. These record prices are hitting the market just as the spring buying season begins to heat up.

Denver March Market Stats 

The good news is that prospective house-hunters will have more homes to choose from than in February. 6,335 new listings hit the market last month, a 36.4% jump from the new listing that came on the market in February. And buyers are out there. Some 5,674 homes were placed under contract in March, a robust 34.52% increase from February and a 4.76% increase on a year-over-year basis. Homes also sold faster in March than in February. The average days on the market was 44 in March, a 15% improvement from 51 days in February.

Denver March Market Stats

Still, there is no doubt the market still suffers from a longtime shortage of homes for sale. Currently, there is only a 1.16-month inventory of unsold homes on the market. That is a mere five weeks. There is less than a month’s inventory of homes priced from $200,000 to just below $500,000. Even the luxury market ($1 million +) has only a 5-month supply. Normally, that would be considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. In fact, the luxury market continues to be the strongest. There were 163 luxury home sales in March, a 43% jump from February and a 20.74% increase from March 2017.

Denver March Market Stats 

“The luxury market ended the first quarter like Villanova: the big winner!” exclaimed Jill Schafer, a broker with Kentwood Real Estate and a member of the DMAR Market Trends Committee.

Denver March Market Stats 

Meanwhile, if you look at the entire first quarter data, buyers have purchased 10,577 single-family homes and condos, a 6% decline from the first three months of 2017. Because of rising prices, the sales volume of all homes was a record $4.85 billion in the first quarter, a 4.7% increase from the first quarter of 2017. With sky high prices and strong demand, this spring is a great time to list your home!

Denver March Market Stats 

Colorado Real Estate News

Active Listings Are on the Rise in the Denver Housing Market

Forget about March Madness. Last month was March Gladness, if you were a home buyer in the Denver market. In good news for homebuyers and Realtors, the number of active listings rose by 26.9% from February in March. While it’s not uncommon for the inventory to rise as the spring season kicks in, the increase was twice the 13.1% in the same period in 2016, according to data released by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. The total number of homes on the market rose almost 10% from the active inventory in March of last year.

Still, with fewer than 5,000 total homes on the market last month there isn’t enough to meet demand in a bustling market the size of Denver. That is apparent in that the months of inventory stood at 1.21 months at the end of March, virtually unchanged from 1.23 months a year earlier. Yet, the increase of inventory bodes well for even more homes to hit the market later this spring and summer. In the first quarter, there are almost 10% more actively listed homes on the market than in the first three months of last year. It’s also important to note that more than 15,000 new listings hit the market in the first quarter of this year, almost 10 percent more than were added to the market between January and March of 2016.

One area that showed a big improvement is luxury homes, or those priced at $1 million or more. At this time last year, the market was saddled with almost a 10-month supply of luxury homes. Since then, the inventory of luxury homes has dropped 24.4% to 7.41 months. While a 24% change is a big drop, those shopping for high-end homes still have a lot of choices, compared to any other price point. In fact, a recent Kentwood Real Estate analysis of the luxury market showed 110 single-family homes traded hands last month, a record for any month of March. That marked a 66.7% jump from March 2016!

Meanwhile, the average sales price of all single-family, detached homes sold in March rose to $425,607. That’s an 8.82% increase from March 2016 and a 6.18% increase from February. The average price of a condo at $317,402, marked the first time in a March that the price topped $300,000. Condo prices are up 10.71% from a year earlier and on a month-to-month basis rose 7.26%. The total sales volume of all homes last month was $1.85 billion, a 9.73% increase from a year ago and a whopping 44.42% jump from the previous month. If you have been waiting for home prices to drop before you buy, reconsider that strategy.

The March and first quarter statistics show that even with a rising inventory, prices continue to rise, a testament to strong demand in a growing economy. If you wait to buy, you are likely to be faced with higher prices and higher interest rate.