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.

Colorado Real Estate News

Why 4th Quarter is a Great Season for Real Estate

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

The seasons are changing and it’s time to finish raking leaves; time to make sure you enjoy the great Colorado Outdoors while it’s still semi-summer and time to consider making a move.

Before stepping into management, I spent 22 years in real estate sales. It never failed that September through November were among my best months every year.

Odds of Selling

As a homeowner considering putting your house on the market or up for lease, your “odds of selling” are among the highest at this moment. It’s not typical to see a jump in inventory during the final quarter of the year and home buyers are left to sift through what little inventory there is. Anything new on the market is usually hotly contested. By choosing to get your house on the market soon, you know the buyer pool is at the highest it’s been in years.

Buying Power

Mortgage rates remain historically, breathtakingly low. The current odds of selling your home in Metro Denver rests at 73.4%. The ratio of buyers to sellers is out of balance in the Colorado real estate market. Those are some great odds! The pool of buyers has maximum affordability at current prices because of low mortgage rates.

In the Northern Colorado market, affordability is greater, with more to choose from in mid-tier price ranges. With similar inventory issues in the communities surrounding Fort Collins, buyers are left struggling to win the day among competitive bids. Having an experienced real estate broker in your corner can help you wade through a complex and sometimes frustrating process.

Craving Space 

Buyers are craving space with another COVID winter in our future. Many people are hoping that a move to a larger property will afford them the ability to weather the storm, literally. If you are thinking of listing your home for sale, consider your location’s appeal and price carefully. The odds of selling are high, but buyers are looking for updated and move-in-ready in most cases.

It’s the season for selling! Contact any Kentwood Real Estate broker for more information on listing or buying residential or commercial property in Metro Denver, the foothills, up the I-25 corridor, and areas surrounding Fort Collins in Northern Colorado. We’re here to provide you the information you need to make an informed decision. Tis the season!

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

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.

According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:

“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”

When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

How to Price Your Home

As a seller, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. You’re thinking, higher price, greater profit, right? But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers and have them looking at the houses your neighbors are selling instead.

Even today, when the advantage tips toward sellers because there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running in the other direction if it isn’t priced just right.

Our Trusted Real Estate Professionals Will Help

It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working in partnership with a trusted real estate professional. When you price it competitively, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer over the price. Instead, you’ll have multiple buyers competing for the home, and that’s what ultimately increases the final sale price.

The key is making sure your house is priced to sell immediately. That way, it will be seen by the most buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and your house will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about listing your house this fall, connect with a Kentwood broker, to discuss how to price it right so you can maximize your exposure and your return. Find a broker at www.Kentwood.com

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg Honored with the 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Award

HousingWire announced today that Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg has been honored with its 2020 HW Vanguard Award. This is the sixth year that HousingWire has recognized executives in the housing industry for their outstanding leadership. Rosenberg was selected for being a leader within the housing industry by “moving markets forward, each and every day” and positively contributing to the growth of the housing economy. 

“In the program’s most competitive year yet, 50 winners rose to the top, boasting their outstanding achievements in innovation and leadership,” said HousingWire Magazine Editor Kelsey Ramírez. HousingWire’s 2020 Vanguards have led their respective companies to spectacular success, as evidenced by expanding products, services, and profits.

“The achievements of this year’s Vanguards are hard to overstate,” said HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler. “They are leading some of the most iconic and successful mortgage and real estate companies in the world and adapting and innovating even in the midst of a global pandemic. The Vanguards represent the industry’s best and brightest, and we are excited to celebrate Gretchen Rosenberg’s remarkable accomplishments.”

As President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate, Rosenberg’s role first and foremost is to support Kentwood brokers. Today, Rosenberg leads Kentwood’s growing elite team of over 240 Realtors® in Colorado’s finest luxury brokerage, which has produced more volume per agent than 99% of all real estate companies in the United States.

Under Rosenberg’s leadership, Kentwood Broker Associates closed over $2 billion in total sales volume and closed over 3,000 transactions last year. The overall average sales price notably rose year over year to $767,556 with 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.

Additionally, Rosenberg has led Kentwood through the COVID-19 crisis. Stay-at-home orders disrupted what would have been a record-breaking start of the 2020 spring residential real estate rush. As other brokerages scrambled for direction, Rosenberg’s proactive leadership kept Kentwood’s brokers in front of the crisis by issuing guidance with every new milestone.

To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and Gretchen Rosenberg, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood president and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in… Change

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.

Managing Expectations

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.

Managing Outcomes

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.

Our company purpose says it best:

At Kentwood, 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.

Colorado Real Estate News

Polo Club mansion listed for $8.95M

Listed by Sandy Weigand and Chuck Gargotto 1 Polo Club Lane has been listed at $8.95M. The owners spared no expense in entirely rebuilding and renovating this 5-bedroom, 7-bath residence to create a stunning transitional Beverly Hills style designer jewel. With inspiring indoor and outdoor spaces everywhere, clean modern lines blend harmoniously with tradition throughout the property.

Read more about this incredible property on the Denver Business Journal site by clicking here!

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Market Trends

Despite the Pandemic, 2020 Denver-area Housing Market is Hot!

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 metro-Denver housing market is on pace to outperform last year’s record-breaking real estate market.

If you recall, July of this year hit a record high number of home sales in any given month in metro Denver. In August, while home sales dropped compared to July by nearly 19%, the 5,959 total homes that did sell signified the most sales for any month of August on record. Yet, at the same time, the number of active listings at month end in August was down 41% year to date compared to 2019. So, if there were more homes available on the market in August, there is no doubt many more would have sold.

Single-family Homes are Scarce

Homebuyers looking to purchase a single-family home really struggled because there were 50% fewer single-family homes for sale year over year in August. Furthermore, single-family homes priced between $500,000 and $749,999 had only 0.66 months of inventory which is an extreme seller’s market where demand outpaces supply. Based on that number, the market would technically be out of homes for buyers to purchase in two to three weeks if no other inventory hits the market.

Home Prices Still on the Rise

As buyer demand continues to outpace supply, prices continue to go up. The average price for a single-family home hit another breaking record at $606,330 in August, an increase of 5.6% year to date.

Condo sales weren’t doing quite as well as average August prices were down month over month in August, but still up 2.6% year to date. The Denver market is a seller’s market across the board except for condos priced over $1 million where the market is more balanced between buyers and sellers.

If these current trends continue, COVID-19 may have just been a blemish on our year-end housing figures, as the Denver-area market is insulated by strong population growth, a variety of industries and quality of life that isn’t going anywhere.