In 1996 when I embarked on my career in real estate, I quickly learned that no two transactions, no two clients and no two co-op agents would ever be the same.
Experienced real estate brokers, whether they practice residential, commercial or leasing services, know this is a fluid business. They understand how change impacts people’s need for different surroundings. They also become adept at managing expectations and outcomes.
It’s reasonable for you to believe your real estate broker will be honest, forthright and ethical throughout your relationship and transaction. In fact, we have a duty to be just that. These relationships are bi-lateral, however, and in order to have the best working relationship it’s important for the consumer to be able to receive news and advice from their broker with an open mind. The best way I found to help clients manage expectations was to give them their options, wait a beat, and then ask them if they had any questions and how they wanted to proceed.
Once the options are weighed, sometimes with the advice of counsel, sometimes with the input of home inspectors, the next steps can be plotted. This is where an adversity to change can negatively impact the outcome. Real estate isn’t a zero-sum game, there are people on the other side of the transaction. People with their own motivations, hopes and desires. We must always keep the best outcome for our client front and center, while being open to changing course, giving here and there, or getting what we may not have expected. That’s negotiation.
Changes in circumstances, even when they’re a positive step forward in a life plan, can cause stress and anxiety. Top real estate brokers are attuned to this dynamic and assist their clients in finding the best way forward.
At the end of all of this change lies the outcome, and this is what Kentwood has always been about. Results for the people who have entrusted us with their life changes.
Owned by the founder of Hill and Robbins law firm, Bob Hill is listing his Cheesman Park home, having lived there since 1993. The property is listed at $3.5 million by Jim Rhye from our Kentwood Cherry Creek office.
The home, built in 1930, was designed by Fisher & Fisher – a well known architectural firm in Denver known for several prominent homes and buildings.
Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many people to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.
In 2019, 67,000 people moved to Colorado according to the US Census Bureau. In July, the Front Range Housing Market remained very competitive. Many sellers were collecting multiple offers over asking price as people continue to move to and around the front range.
According to Zillow:
“In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.”
With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.
1. Working from Home
Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:
“With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”
If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.
2. Virtual Schooling
With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.
With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.
3. A Home Gym
Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleansexplains:
“For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”
Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.
4. Outdoor Space
Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:
“People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”
Many urban dwellers remain enamored with the dynamic urban lifestyle and still enjoy condo living. Those that wish to remain downtown are looking at properties with larger patios or building rooftop decks. They look forward to the lock and leave lifestyle again in future months, but want to enhance their current space with a home office and an area to get outside on those lovely Colorado days.
Moving May Be Your Best Option
If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:
“Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”
It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.
People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and for many people, their needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, contact a Kentwood broker to discuss your options!
Jason Exley, the Director of Relocation at Kentwood Real Estate, discusses the current state of the real estate market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the article on Bristol Global to learn more about how real estate is thriving and the resilience of many major markets in the last several months.
Jason discusses how real estate continually adapted, and what the future of conducting business may look like in this new virtual landscape.
McGregor Square is located right next to Coors Field in LoDo. It spans one fully city block, and includes a social plaza, a dining hall, and curated retail. This residential tower is filled with 103 residences ranging from 450 to 6,000 square feet. McGregor Square is on track to be completed in the Spring of 2021. Today, McGregor Square is 60% sold!
“Residences have amazing balconies and terraces, restaurants have generous outdoor seating and the plaza provides an active 30,000 square-foot outdoor space for residents to safely enjoy gathering,” says Kentwood Real Estate Broker Associate Dee Chirafisi.
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.
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.
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.
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%?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“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.