Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Market Trends

winter decor featuring multi sized candles and a white vase with lit up small branches

Denver Metro Real Estate Market Continues to Boost All-Time Records.
November continued to emphasize the desirability of a home in COVID-19, and the market shattered records with median days in MLS for detached single-family homes at a speedy five days, representing a tie for the lowest number on record. Active listings for attached and detached single-family homes came in at 3,415, surpassing the previous low set in December 2017 of 3,854. There was additionally a record-high for November average close price for combined single-family detached and attached properties, and detached single-family homes at $549,756 and $615,766 respectively.

Low Inventory Is …  Low.
While the holiday months generally see a decline in inventory, this November MOI hit another record-low at just .71, easily beating October 2020’s former lowest record at .81. For the single-family detached market, Denver had 1,755 houses currently available for sale, representing just .51 months of inventory.

Change of Pace for Luxury Homes Inventory.
While typically, the most active amount of inventory is the $500,000 – $750,000 price range, this November the dial turned and it was homes priced over a million dollars. Presently, there are 561 homes on the market priced at over a million dollars, almost one-third of the overall inventory. New listings for the Luxury Market were up 17.09 percent compared to last year.

Classic Market Becomes Most Competitive.
MOI for detached homes in the Classic Market dropped to just over .27, arguably making the Classic Market the most competitive segment of the market. For detached and attached homes in the Classic Market, there were 1,781 new listings recorded in November, which was a 35.70 percent drop from October and a 2.64 percent drop from last year. The 2,319 pending sales in November outpaced the number of new listings, furthering the lack of inventory this month and the number of closed sales dropped by 25.38 percent from October and 4.98 percent from last year.

*Written December 8, 2020. Updates may be available after this date.

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

4 Reasons Why the Election Won’t Dampen the Housing Market

Today, Americans will decide our President for the next four years. If you haven’t already, make sure you get out and vote today! While this decision will have a major impact on many aspects of life in this country, the residential real estate market will not be one of them.

Analysts will try to measure the impact feasible changes in regulations might have on housing, the effect of a possible first-time buyer program, and any number of other situations based on who wins. The Colorado housing market, however, will remain strong for four reasons:

1. Demand Is Strong Among Millennials

The nation’s largest generation began entering the housing market last year as they reached the age to marry and have children – two key drivers of homeownership. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“Millennials, long viewed as perennial home renters who were reluctant or unable to buy, are now emerging as a driving force in the U.S. housing market’s recent recovery.”

2. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low 

All-time low interest rates are also driving demand across all generations. Strong demand created by this rate drop has countered other economic disruptions (e.g., pandemic, recession, record unemployment).

In addition, Freddie Mac just forecasted mortgage rates to remain low through next year:

“One of the main drivers of the strong housing recovery is historically low mortgage interest rates…Given weakness in the broader economy, the Federal Reserve’s signal that its policy rate will remain low until inflation picks up, and no signs of inflation, we forecast mortgage rates to remain flat over the next year. From the third quarter of 2020 through the end of 2021, we forecast mortgage rates to remain unchanged at 3%.”

3. Prices Continue To Appreciate

The continued lack of supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the surge in buyer demand has experts forecasting strong price appreciation over the next twelve months.

4. History Says So

Though it’s true that the market slows slightly in November when it’s a Presidential election year, the pace returns quickly. Here’s an explanation as to why from the Homebuilding Industry Report by BTIG:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty. This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Meyers Research, also notes:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year as long as the economy stays on track.”

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt this is one of the most contentious presidential elections in our nation’s history. The outcome will have a major impact on many sectors of the economy. However, as Matthew Speakman, an economist at Zillow, explained last week:

“While the path of the overall economy is likely to be most directly dictated by coronavirus-related and political developments in the coming months, recent trends suggest that the housing market – which has basically withstood every pandemic-related challenge to this point – will continue its strong momentum in the months to come.

If you are ready to buy or sell in Colorado, contact a Kentwood Real Estate broker to help you, and answer all your questions.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate Welcomes New Brokers to Its Team

Kentwood Real Estate recently welcomed a set of dynamic new brokers to its offices throughout Colorado. With these new additions, Kentwood expands its level of expertise, integrity, and reliability, solidifying its reputation as the brokerage to trust in Colorado.

Kentwood is committed to working with only the finest agents. Many of our esteemed brokers serve on committees and Boards of Directors of real estate associations throughout the state, and all are active and respected in their communities. As an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America, Kentwood has access to the resources of leading real estate brands. Yet, our locally-managed offices allow for our in-depth, extensive knowledge of where we – and our clients – live. 

At Kentwood, we believe that the best, most productive agents are those that know their communities inside and out. When we hire new brokers, we put our full trust in them that they will serve as consummate professionals: trustworthy, dedicated, and ethical. Kentwood Real Estate is “rooted in community,” and our diverse team of agents regularly participates in charity events, volunteers, and supports local restaurants and businesses. 

Our latest brokers to join the Kentwood family are:

  • Anna Brady – 1/9/2020
  • Megan Heagle – 1/10/2020
  • Josh Steck – 2/3/2020
  • David Powell – 2/5/2020
  • Christina Albus – 2/6/2020 
  • Brian Noel – 2/7/2020
  • Sparkle Berkley – 2/26/2020
  • Andrea Jones – 3/24/2020 
  • Jay Modglin – 5/12/2020
  • Lindsay Ripley – 6/17/2020 
  • Lisa Gould – 6/24/2020 
  • Terri Barnes, 7/8/2020
  • Allison Kitchen – 8/19/2020
  • Kiki Faircloth – 8/20/2020
  • Eli Boone – 8/20/2020
  • KiKi Cannon – 8/25/2020 
  • Peter Boland – 8/26/2020
  • Virginia Reiman – 8/31/2020 
  • Sam Valenzuela – 9/11/2020
  • Josh Haakinson – 9/29/2020
  • Danielle Ewing – 10/20/2020 

As real estate demand across Colorado revs up, Kentwood Real Estate continues to grow to meet the needs of buyers and sellers.

Kentwood Real Estate is a proud member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (CAHREP), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) Denver Chapter, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). Additionally, our brokers belong to such esteemed associations as the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®, Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, Boulder Area REALTORS® Association, Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS®, South Metro Denver REALTORS® Association, and the Colorado Association of REALTORS®. To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and available listings, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate Announces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council

In its commitment to addressing homeownership disparity in Colorado and the real estate industry, Kentwood Real Estate has formulated a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council. The council is actively identifying and executing on initiatives to help underserved communities and to educate the brokers and staff through education, community activation and engagement, and by influencing policies.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion within our brokerage and our neighborhoods has always been a top priority to our leadership team,” said Gretchen Rosenberg, president and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “The DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Council is a place to create conversations in safe open dialogue. We want to unite the company, learning about our differences, and highlighting how this makes us stronger. We want to create a regular cadence of internal communication about opportunities for engagement in the community at large and in National Association of Realtors® affinity organizations.”

Members of the DEI Council are as follows:

Education is at the heart of the program. The DEI Council is planning an all-company panel on a range of topics tied to diversity, equity and inclusion. Furthermore, every broker in the company, plus a guest of their choosing, will be encouraged to attend at least one function per year with affinity or community groups. The ‘plus-one’ program will encourage brokers to tap into their sphere of influence to both expand education in the community and facilitate a level of comfort for people stepping into new situations.

On more granular levels, the DEI Council is examining all touchpoints within the company to find ways to ensure the brokerage is addressing diversity, equity and inclusion at every level – from translating homebuyer and seller books into Spanish, to confirming the equal housing guidelines are optimally represented on all marketing material.

Kentwood Real Estate is a proud member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (CAHREP), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) Denver Chapter, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). Kentwood Real Estate is passionate about and committed to advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the housing industry and beyond. To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and available listings, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Rooted in Value

Accolades vs. Action

We have many accolades to tout at Kentwood Real Estate, but we’re laser-focused on the customer service actions needed to meet both our clients’ expectations and their goals. Without a deep concentration on the excellence of service, we would never get to the point of raving fans, testimonials, and accolades.

Consumers today have a plethora of models, systems, portals, and personalities to choose from as they embark on their real estate journey. Our team of commercial and residential brokers are at the top of their game because they recognize that we’re in a service business. Real estate “sales” is customer service and expert problem-solving at its core.

Service as Value

I used to joke with clients when I was still in sales that I did a lot more than the average broker. Unlike agents who used the “Three P’s” as a marketing plan, (Put out a sign, Put it in the MLS and Pray,) I offered my clients a list of over 40 behind the scenes activities that they may not have realized their real estate broker should be accomplishing for them.

Does your broker conduct an ownership and encumbrance and tax search on your property or the property you’re making an offer on? Research the condition of the title and zoning? Make sure the HOA covenants and declarations are in your hands for review? 

Does your broker complete a well-considered market analysis for the commercial property or home you’re selling and buying? (And explain how their knowledge and expertise informs that report?) How does your broker expose your property? Qualify prospects? Protect you from shady inquiries or unhealthy/unsafe showings?

Does your broker consistently seek feedback and provide it to you in a timely and valuable way? Negotiate on your behalf? Represent your best interests while balancing the needs of both buyer and seller to get to the end game desired? 

Have you received an estimated net proceeds for a variety of prices? Been guided through the maze of legal documents and referred to an attorney if needed? Do you know if a complete appraisal package has been prepared and provided to the appraiser? Have you been guided through the inspection process and informed on how to best tackle these secondary negotiations?

But Wait! There’s More!

The list of what your Kentwood Real Estate broker can and will provide you in terms of service and support during your transaction continues. It’s so robust that you should make an appointment with a Kentwood broker for more detail soon.

Now is a great time to be a seller, and many buyers are looking for property to purchase. Reach out and learn about why we consistently earn awards and accolades at Kentwood. It’s because we make it about YOU!

Colorado Real Estate News

Tips and Tricks For Staging Your Home For Fall

photo showing a rustic, fall decorated living space with a grey couch, light wood furniture accents, and orange pumpkins.

Staging is the first major step in marketing your home. It leads to eye-catching listing photos, which is usually the first step of the buyer’s journey when purchasing a home. While that potential buyer is scrolling through hundreds of listings online, you want yours to stand out from the crowd. 

Not only that but staging your home can save you money and maybe even make you money. A survey from the National Association of REALTORS® revealed that 77% of buyers’ agents said staging makes it easier for their buyer to visualize the property as their future home. 39% of sellers’ agents said staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time a house is on the market and 21% of sellers’ agents said staging a home increases dollar value between 6% and 10%. 

There is no guarantee that staging will get you a higher offer or sell your home faster, but it won’t hurt your chances either. It can be an incredible marketing tool when done right, which is why we’ve put together this list of tips to stage your home for the fall because expert stagers know how to tap into the mood of the season and bring out the best in your home. 

Selling starts at the curb

The moment a potential buyer drives up to the home, you want them to say, “Wow.” Start with the normal landscaping, rake up the leaves, pull weeds, add a layer of mulch, and prune trees and shrubs in preparation for winter. Take care of the home maintenance to give buyers the impression that your home is well taken care of. Clean the gutters, windows, and siding. If early fall, plant a few seasonal flowers like Mums or Pansies to give the front lawn some color. If you have a covered porch area, add a bench or small patio furniture. Dress it with a cozy throw blanket on the chair and a book or coffee cup on the table. Create a scene for the buyer to easily imagine themself relaxing on the porch on a cool fall day. Add a fall wreath to the front door but steer clear of traditional Thanksgiving or Halloween decorations.

Let there be light

The days are shorter in the fall so ensure there is an ample amount of artificial light to supplement. During the middle of the day, open up all the blinds and pull back the curtains to ensure you take advantage of all the natural light you can get. If the home is being shown close to sunset, turn on the lights to ensure the buyer isn’t stumbling looking for a light switch or walking in the dark. (Don’t forget your porchlight!)

Tap into the mood of fall

When people think about Fall, it typically involves a cozy, relaxing time with a warm drink and a good book. Tap into this feeling by creating cozy spaces around the home. Use a soft blanket on a chair or couch near some magazines or a book. Use furry throw pillows of complementary fall colors and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature to encourage the buyer to feel relaxed. Add some simple fall decorations such as a bunch of dark twigs wrapped in twine set near the fireplace or a bowl of fall fruit on the kitchen counters. Set a vase of fall-colored flowers on the dining room table, the mantel, or the bathroom counters to make them more inviting. 

No matter the season, keep the home decluttered and depersonalized. Create scenes of everyday life where they can insert themselves to really feel what it would be like to live in the home. Doing so will help in ensuring you get a top-dollar offer in the least amount of time.  

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.