Colorado Real Estate News

Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Broker

real estate agent and clients talking with masks on.

Whether you’re a first time or a veteran buyer, Kentwood has you covered. Here are some great questions to ask your agent before, during and after buying your new home.

Before Hiring Your Agent

1. Can I see your real estate license?

This should always be one of the first questions you ask a potential agent! Always make sure the person you are working with is an accredited professional. All established agents will be prepared to show you their license, so if they refuse, move on to the next.

2. How long have you been an agent?

The more experienced the agent is, the more industry knowledge and problem-solving skills they will have. To confirm the credibility and success of an agent you are considering, check out their testimonials and online reviews.

3. Are you familiar with the area I am interested in?

Find agents that have experience buying or selling in the neighborhood you are considering. Location does matter! You want to make sure they can answer all of your questions regarding school districts, development plans, crime rates in the neighborhood, surrounding restaurant and entertainment options, etc. For more information on areas that you may be interested in, check out the Colorado Communities section of our website.

During the Housing Search

1. Can you explain the homebuying process from start to finish?

This question is great for first-time buyers! You want to know what to expect going into the buying process. They should cover topics such as: how showings go, how to place an offer and what happens during a home inspection. The Realtor® should also be transparent about how their commission works since buyers do not usually pay agent commission fees.

2. How dated is the property?

It is crucial to find out how much extra money you will have to put into a property post-purchase. The most expensive renovation is typically roof replacement. Most roofs last for roughly 20 years and cost, on average, $6,000 to $10,000 with a maximum rate of around $45,000. It is also important to ask about the major appliances and what their predicted life expectancies are. Make sure to inquire about the water heater, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator and HVAC system.

3. What was the seller’s motivation for putting the house on the market?

This question will determine your negotiation angle. If the seller is moving to a larger house in the same town simply to upsize, they probably are not too worried about the timeline of closing. On the other hand, if the seller is relocating for a job and has already moved out of town, they are usually more willing to work with you on the price to have a quick closing.

4. How many days has the house been on the market?

Another question related to negotiating strategy. According to Realtor.com, most houses are on the market for an average of 52 days. This statistic excludes winter, where the average is slightly higher. So, if a home has been on the market for over two months, the seller may be more receptive to a negotiated price.

After You Have Found a House

1. Can I see a CMA for this house?

You have found the house of your dreams, but you are not done yet! When it comes time to close on a house, you want to make sure you as the buyer are getting the most bang for your buck. A Competitive Market Analysis form will look at nearby, similar properties to determine your future home’s worth in today’s market. This will tell you whether your home is priced reasonably and can inform the route you take with negotiation.

2. What happens when I move to close on a house?

Make sure you coordinate with your agent on who will be handling the closing, where the closing will take place, what you will need to bring to the closing and what the closing costs will be. Both the buyer and the seller are always required to provide photo identification, and the seller must show proof of homeowner’s insurance. As for closing costs, they vary depending on the property, so be prepared to pay both broker and third-party fees at the closing.

Whether you are looking to list your property or search for a new home, Kentwood is always available to provide expert guidance on your real estate journey. Fill out our contact form to connect with a seasoned broker dedicated to fulfilling your homeownership dreams.

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Market Trends

Photo of a master bedroom with a fireplace

Denver-area Remains a Steadfast Seller’s Market in October.

The housing market continued to thrive in October, with a record-high for average sales price for both single-family detached and attached properties at $625,100 and $393,733 respectively, as well as a record-low of months of inventory at an astonishing 0.81. The effects of the COVID-19 months have again created historically low inventory with only 4,821 active listings, representing the lowest amount of active inventory for any October on record by nearly 2,000 listings.

Low Inventory Isn’t Halting Transactions.

The lack of inventory hasn’t slowed the actual process of buying and selling, with 5,984 closed transactions in October. With low interest rates and holidays around the corner, buyers are pushing budgets to find ideal homes. Detached closed properties were up 19.52 percent from September and up 32.15 percent year-over-year. With 1.88 months of inventory and median days in MLS dropping 8.33 percent to just 55 days, detached luxury homes firmly sit in a seller’s market.

Good News for Detached Luxury Homes Inventory.

Detached homes remain the preference for luxury buyers. While the Luxury Market firmly continues as a seller’s market, there is optimistic news for buyers as there are more detached home choices than last year with new listings up 14.62 percent. On the flip side, the attached Luxury Market is moving slower as buyers’ preferences lean towards detached homes. While there were 83.87 percent more listings this year than last year and 11.76 percent more listings than last month, the attached market is moving slower than the detached segment.

Don’t Count Out the Attached Luxury Market.

While the months of inventory is a stark contrast to the detached segment at 5.7 months, the year-over-year data proves new listings have steadily climbed from 233 in 2016 to 472 in 2020 and pending sales have climbed from 103 in 2016 to 247 in 2020.

*Written November 10, 2020. Updates may be available after this date.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate’s Amy Herrington Wins Bronze Stevie® Award

The Stevie® Awards shine an international spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and organizations run by women. 

Kentwood Real Estate is proud to announce that Amy Herrington,  Director of Agent and Staff Services at Kentwood Real Estate, was recently awarded a prestigious 2020 Bronze Stevie® Award in the “Female Employee of the Year Business Category,” which recognizes the achievements of non-executive female employees.

One of the world’s premier business awards, The Stevie® Awards were founded in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. 

A Kentwood veteran of 22 years, Amy Herrington’s accolade comes as no surprise to everyone who has the pleasure to work with her. Building on her career as a real estate assistant when joining Kentwood, Amy moved up the ranks to become the brokerage’s chief liaison between the company and individual brokers. Amy’s position continuously ensures brokers are educated and supported by the brokerage’s resources and programs, like updating individual marketing strategies, maintaining compliance, program implementations, and more.

Through the years, Amy’s relentless dedication to both broker and customer service has been critical to the success of Kentwood and is one reason the company has a record longevity rate for brokers that averages over 17 years at the company. A brokerage of 240 top-producing brokers, Amy has a dynamic and challenging role, yet always finds time to ensure she and Kentwood positively impact the local community to help neighbors in need.

Amy is credited with starting Kentwood’s annual “Adopt-a-Family” program. The now 21-year old program is a beloved Kentwood institution, where Amy leads partnerships with nonprofits and local government services to identify families in need of support through the holiday season. Last year alone, Kentwood donated 96 gifts, meals, and Christmas trees to single mothers and 36 families through the “Be the Gift” organization. This year Amy furthered the company’s alliance with HomeAid Colorado to assist the homeless in Colorado and helped administer food deliveries to COVID front-line workers.

“Amy’s success as a Kentwood employee is absolutely a testament to her personal character, and we are thrilled to learn that she has earned a Stevie® Award,” said Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “Her significant and impactful contributions to aiding our clients, as well as those in need, guides Kentwood’s deep roots in the community and belief that “we accomplish more together.” Our clients and community know they can count on Kentwood staff, thanks in large part to Amy, for advice and support that drive tangible results for their personal businesses and beyond.”

In 2020, more than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals around the world were submitted for consideration in various categories, and more than 180 business professionals working in seven specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners. The 2020 Stevie® Awards ceremony will take place virtually on December 9th at 2:00 pm MST. To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and Amy Herrington, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Market Trends

image showcasing residential homes in fall with red and orange trees in front.

September was the Toughest Time in History to Buy a Home in Metro Denver. Why?

Record-breaking low housing inventory was a key factor to September being one of the most challenging times in history to buy a home in the Denver market.

The 5,301 active listings at September’s month end represented the lowest amount of active housing inventory available on record for any month of September by 2,215 homes. The median days on market in the entire residential market was six, which was three days lower than the previous record set in September 2015 and 2016. For both single-family and condo homes, there were more closed and pending transactions than ever before reaching 5,850 and 6,376 respectively.

Housing inventory can’t keep up with the high level of homebuyer demand. This is further evidenced in that the months of inventory hit an all-time low at 0.91 months, signifying a very strong seller’s market.

Record-breaking Home Prices.

Furthermore, the median home price for both single-family and condo homes hit a record-breaking high at $510,000 and $334,752 respectively. The total sales volume of $3.15 billion represents the highest amount for any September on record and the third-highest month of all time.

Luxury Market is Red Hot Too.

Luxury Market home sellers were having to think fast and figure out their next move because the average days on market for a luxury home was down 39.5% year over year at 46 days.

Year over year, 81% more luxury homes sold in September and 87% more single-family homes closed. The luxury condo market is also showing signs of strength with 32% more sold compared to 2019.

Additionally, compared to last year, new listings priced $1 million+ were up 26% while pending listings were up a whopping 116% in September. Single-family luxury homes were also hot in September with a 125% increase in pending sales compared to this time last year. The luxury condo market was just as hot with a 58% increase in pending sales going under contract from one year ago.  

*Written October 9, 2020. Updates may be available after this date.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in Luxury

Top 4 Questions to ask your Luxury Broker

1. Experience Level

It takes a well-honed skill set to manage the purchase or sale of a luxury property. Whether that’s a significant residence or a Class A Building. Marketing, negotiations, and the unique needs of luxury clientele require an aesthetic sensibility that comes from experience and strong negotiating skills.

2. Company Backing / Resources

Does the brand your broker has chosen to affiliate with resonate with a luxury clientele? At Kentwood Real Estate we like to reinforce that we’re a luxury brand for all. Everyone, in every price range and area, receives luxury treatment. Our brand is recognized as consequential because we take good care of our clients and we’re affiliated with some of the top national and international luxury networks, like Luxury Portfolio International, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America.

3. Discretion

If you’re a luxury client, unless you’re a celebrity wanting to leverage that for a sale, you likely want discretion. Brokers at companies like Kentwood understand that. We’ve worked with sports agents, attorneys representing high profile clientele, we’ve worked under NDA. We know how to get the job done and how to make it about YOU, the client, and not about our notoriety. Not every broker out there wants to be on Million Dollar Listing or touting their chops publicly. Many remain focused on doing the best job they can for their clients. Our brokers are rewarded for their discretion by the referrals of their clients, not by 15 minutes of fame.

4. Photography & Staging

High-end photography, professional staging, geo-marketing, video, drone photography. These are all tools in the tool kit of an experienced luxury broker. They have the “rolodex” of names of the best practitioners in their chosen affiliated fields to get visually stunning results. It’s not acceptable to take photos on a camera phone at any price point, but especially not in the luxury markets.

Coco Chanel famously said, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” Luxury is in the eye of the beholder and Kentwood brokers excel at treating all clientele as if they are high-end. 

Colorado Real Estate News

Denver’s Housing Market Remains Tough For Buyers As Inventory Remains Low

September 2020 revealed the toughest market to buy a home in metro-Denver’s history. Housing inventory can’t keep up with the buyer demand, putting us in a very strong seller’s market. The average price for both single-family and condo homes in Denver hit a record high.

“It is incredibly difficult for buyers today, they’re just having to work like crazy,” said Jill Schafer broker at Kentwood Real Estate. “People are having to put all their cards on the table.”

Click here to hear more about the Denver housing market, and what else the DMAR October Market Trends report revealed.

Link: CBS4 Denver – Denver’s Housing Market Remains Tough For Buyers As Inventory Remains Low

Colorado Real Estate News

Buyers Are Finding More Space in the Luxury Home Market

A year ago, additional space and extra amenities had a very different feel for homebuyers. Today, the health crisis has brought to light how valuable more square footage and carefully designed floorplans can be. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and theaters are becoming more popular, and some buyers are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the Colorado luxury market.

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains:

“With quarantine concerns still top of mind for many luxury buyers, we see large, sprawling estates making their comeback.

For instance, the last six months have seen a resurgence in the buying of mega mansions and estate-size homes – specifically properties that offer space (both inside and outside), separate home offices, gyms, and private amenities such as swimming pools, yoga studios, and recreation rooms.”

This was not the case at this time last year, as the most recent Luxury Market Report from ILHM emphasizes:

“Exactly one year ago, we reported that demand for large properties, mega mansions, private estates, and luxury ranches had reduced significantly over the previous few years; especially from the younger generation of luxury property buyers.”

For today’s buyers looking for larger homes, steady increases in equity might be what makes a move possible. Leveraging home equity makes it easier to afford the down payment on a luxury home, and current low-interest rates are making mortgage payments more affordable than they have been in years. The report from ILHM also notes:

“Luxury real estate prices may continue to strengthen further into the third quarter, as the affluent continue to see large investment returns from the currently strong stock market.

Coupled with the low-interest rates, the policies granting (and insisting) on working from home implemented by many employers, and the concerns of the pandemic, all translate to the affluent increasingly trading in their city lifestyle for a home that has it all.”

Clearly, today’s strong gains in home equity paired with record-low interest rates make fall a great time to move up into the luxury market to meet those changing needs.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to gain some breathing room in a larger home, let’s connect so you have the guidance you need to find more space in the luxury home market. Our Kentwood brokers are experts in the luxury market and are here to help you find the perfect home. 

Learn more at www.Kentwood.com

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in… Security

September is the National Association of REALTORS annual safety month. It’s a time to reflect on how to keep ourselves safe and secure in the wake of malevolent or treacherous behavior in the field. We remind our team at Kentwood Real Estate to use smart and safe business practices.

Safety in Real Estate

What are our best practices for safety? Always have a friend or colleague who knows where you’ll be and when. When meeting a new prospect, screen them first and have your friend or colleague give you a call a few minutes into the meeting to check-in.

We advise our brokers to meet new prospects ahead of showings to take a copy of their ID and to pre-screen their interest and qualifications. In fairness to all prospects, we must treat everyone equally and equitably when setting up these pre-showing meetings.

At open houses, have a front and back door open. Keep your phone in your hands. Never venture to another floor with guests. Advise homeowners to clear their house of valuables, medicines and to lock their computer screens. Trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right! These are the most basic advisories for real estate broker and client safety.

Safety’s New Meaning

In the COVID-19 era, “safety” has taken on more color and nuance. We strive to keep ourselves and our clients safe from a pandemic while assisting them to purchase, sell, or lease their home or commercial property.

Recently, one of our Kentwood Brokers told me her “buyer kit” now consists of gloves, masks, and booties, along with a few bottles of hand sanitizer. These are the items she carries in a basket in her car. I reminisced that when I was still showing property, our buyer kits and car baskets consisted of bottled water, small toys, and snacks. Clients are less interested in taking water or snacks from us, they want to know we’re focused on their wellbeing.

During REALTOR Safety Month, Kentwood brokers are doing their part to keep themselves and their clients safe and secure. We hope everyone can accomplish their real estate dream without the stress of an unsafe environment.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate Announces Sales Totaling Over $44 Million For August

Kentwood Real Estate is pleased to announce the residences that were sold by Kentwood Brokers in August priced over $2,000,000. The listings and sales had a total sales volume of over $44,000,000. 

“Our Brokers are passionate about real estate and inspiring people to take the next steps in their life journey,” said Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “We’re rooted Colorado; in the belief that we accomplish more together. The exceptional real estate expertise of our Brokers has continued to position our brand as the preeminent source for luxury real estate in Colorado for four decades.” 

The significant sales in the month of August for Kentwood Real Estate are as follows: 

Kentwood Broker Associates Gina Lorenzen and Linda Hantman represented the seller of a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 7,818-square-foot home in Cherry Hills Village that sold for $4,695,000. Residing on two private acres near Cherry Hills Country Club, this magnificent residence is surrounded by lush grounds with a pond. The whitewashed brick exterior is accentuated by a slate roof and iron balconies. At the heart of the home is an open-plan great room with double-height beamed ceilings and professional-grade chef’s kitchen. The upper loft is flanked by four en suite bedrooms, including a private master suite with a sitting room, balcony, walk-in closet, and spa-like bath. The fifth en suite is found in the lower level along with the recreation room and wine cellar. This home highlights exceptional Colorado living. 

Kentwood Broker Associate Karen Brinckerhoff represented the seller of a five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,040-square-foot home in Littleton that sold for $3,800,000. The property has sweeping views through every window of the mountains, red rocks, meadows, wildlife, and city. The completely renovated interior, designed by the award-winning architect from RKD, Jack Snow, features a gourmet kitchen, luxurious master suite, and five-piece master bath with a steam shower. Positioned on 13.51 acres of pristine landscape that is enhanced by the mountain backdrop, this equestrian estate is equipped with a three-stall two-story barn with a tack room, equestrian riding arena, and fenced pasture. Truly a Colorado dream home in the perfect location close to everything.

Kentwood Broker Associate Gina Lorenzen represented the seller of a three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 6,521-square-foot home at Hilltop’s highest point on Cranmer Park that sold for $3,500,000. The iconic contemporary-designed, custom-built home on a rare, expansive 26,500 square-foot lot is one of the most significant residences in Denver. The original design was by award-winning New York architect, Michael Gabellini. The sleek and modern interiors feature an extensive open living area and study/library surrounded by expanses of glass, creating a bright, airy space with stunning views of the Front Range. Designed for sophisticated entertaining and comfortable living, the interior has soaring ceilings, four impressive fireplaces, and magnificent wall spaces to accommodate substantial artwork. An enviable location with unrivaled views – the home is a true modern masterpiece.

Estate in Cranmer Park sold for $3,500,000

Kentwood Broker Associates Tim Colleran and Whitney Harris represented the seller and Broker Associates Brandon Brennick and Anna Brady represented the buyer of a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 5,661-square-foot home in the heart of Belcaro in Denver that sold for $2,580,000. The stunning contemporary home features sleek and sophisticated finishes throughout the open concept floorplan, including a floor-to-ceiling marble double-sided fireplace between the dining and front sitting rooms. The luxurious master suite offers a fireplace, relaxing sitting area, a private balcony, and a spa-like bath. This is a true Belcaro gem.

Estate in Belcaro sold for $2,580,000

Kentwood Broker Associates Kelly Sophinos and Greg Margheim represented the seller of a six-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 8,682-square-foot home in Greenwood Village that sold for $2,575,000. The open beam architecture and European-designed custom two-story home is situated on almost one acre with gorgeous mountain views.

Estate in Greenwood Village sold for $2,575,000

Kentwood Broker Associates Patty Ryan Anton and Greg Card represented the seller of a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,472-square-foot home in Washington Park that sold for $2,444,000. The Monterey style-home is surrounded by nature and is crisp and bright throughout. The main focus in this wide-open floor-plan is gazing out through wall-to-wall sliding glass doors to the massive patio overlooking Washington Park.

Estate in Washington Park sold for $2,444,000

Kentwood Broker Associate Christy Owen represented the seller and Kentwood Broker Associate Jim Rhye represented the buyer of a four-bedroom, five-bathroom 4,406-square-foot home in the Country Club neighborhood of Denver that sold for $2,375,000. The classic two-story, red-brick Georgian home, is sunny and open with a charming sunroom opening to an awning-covered terrace outside. The outdoor space features a large patio with wonderful indoor-outdoor living and entertaining elements.

Estate in Country Club neighborhood sold for $2,375,000

Kentwood Broker Associate Berenice Bejarano represented the seller of a five-bedroom, six-bath, 6,123-square-foot home in the historic Denver Country Club community of Denver that sold for $2,300,000. The skylights throughout the home create a light-filled interior. The open floor plan offers the perfect flow, and includes three fireplaces, charming finishes, an expansive master bedroom, and a walk-out basement with its own kitchenette and washroom, creating a private guest suite. The large backyard has a pool, built-in barbeque, and jacuzzi – offering exceptional outdoor living.

Estate in historic Denver Country Club community sold for $2,300,000Kentwood Broker Associates Roy Lopez and Jonathan Lopez represented the seller of a six-bedroom, six-bath, 6,740-square-foot home in Greenwood Village that sold for $2,100,000. The stunning remodeled home in The Preserve is a rare property with great outdoor living amenities. Situated at the end of a cul-de-sac and with gorgeous curb appeal, the new front-entry door opens up to a grand foyer with its soaring ceilings. The family room has an impressive stone wall fireplace, the stylish dining room is connected to the butler’s pantry and wine chiller, and there is an outdoor gourmet kitchen with a refrigerated beer tap, Kalamazoo grill, pizza oven and split smoker – perfect for fabulous dining experiences.

Estate in Greenwood Village sold for $2,100,000

Kentwood Broker Associates Bryan Uhl and Kris Uhl represented the seller of a four-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,673-square-foot two-story brick home in the heart of Old Crestmoor in Denver that sold for $2,045,000. The beautiful home features formal living and dining rooms coupled with a wonderful flow for entertaining – amazing windows and natural light throughout. The chef’s kitchen boasts Quartzite and Silestone countertops and opens to a large family room with beautiful antique reclaimed pine flooring and an oversized granite hearth with wood burning fireplace. There is also a private master suite with French doors opening to a large deck overlooking the professionally landscaped park-like backyard.

Estate in the heart of Old Crestmoor in Denver  sold for $2,045,000

Kentwood Real Estate also represented the buyers of four luxury homes that sold in August as follows:

Kentwood Broker Associates Patty Ryan Anton and Greg Card represented the buyer of a home in Steamboat Springs that closed for $3,950,000.

Kentwood Broker Associate Amanda Fein represented the buyer of a home in Denver’s Lower Highlands that closed for $2,500,000.

Kentwood Broker Associates Thomas and Rosanne Dutzer represented the buyer of a home in Denver that closed for $2,300,000.

Kentwood Broker Associate Allison Craig represented the buyer of a home in Denver’s Cranmer Park neighborhood that closed for $2,025,000.

Notably, in 2019, Kentwood Real Estate represented four of the top 10 highest-priced home sales in metro Denver, more than any other brokerage in the top 10, according to REColorado data. To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and our available listings, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

Denver home of late art collector, philanthropist Ginny Williams sells for $3.5M

Kentwood Real Estate broker, Gina Lorenzen, listed and sold this custom-built home located at Hilltop’s highest point on Cranmer Park. This home was designed by award-winning New York architect, Michael Gabellini.

Check out the article on Denver Business Journal to learn more about the history of this home, and Ginny Williams — the late art collector and philanthropist who previously owned it.

Click here to read the full article!