Denver metro home sales dropped In October, along with the number of new listings, reflecting a typical scenario for the month.
“Sales usually peak mid-summer around June or July, and then we begin a seasonal slide hitting the lowest number of both new listing and number of homes sold in December or January. This year appears to be following that same trend,” noted Jill Schafer, chair of the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) Market Trends Committee.
There is a difference, however, between this October and others: Schafer noted that the number of new listings last month was the lowest since February and possibly contributed to the drop in home sales.
According to DMAR’s monthly market report, active listings decreased 7.85% from September to October, while sold homes dropped 6.40%. Both numbers represent a slight increase (.21% and 1.62% respectively) over October of 2018.
Even so, average sold prices rose 1.22% from September to October, to $486,390.
Additionally, homes spent the same time on the market—33 days—in October as September. But there was a large disparity between selling times based on price.
When sellers priced their homes correctly, according to DMAR, those homes sold in an average of 14 days. By contrast, sellers who aimed too high and were forced to drop their prices saw their homes linger on the market for an average of 59 days.
“Of the closed transactions in October,” noted Schafer, “40% had to make a price reduction.” This compares to 35% in October of 2018, according to the report.
The largest reductions, she added, were with homes priced over $1 million. In this situation, the average reduction was $149,742. Homes priced under $500,000 saw average reductions of between $10,750 and $21,362.
Schafer noted that in order to sell quickly, homes should be updated and appear spotless.
“There’s no statistic for this but from experience, I can tell you today’s buyers want a home that is move-in ready,” reported Schafer. Of the homes she has recently shown to buyers, many “had obviously deferred maintenance, clutter everywhere and dirt and dust that appeared to have accumulated over a number of years. The buyers popped in and out of those homes in a hurry, wanting to continue looking. The buyers spend a much longer time in homes that had professional direction from their REALTOR and sparkled inside and out.”
Sellers would be wise, noted Schafer, to update kitchens and baths, replace old carpet, and paint and clean windows to make the most appealing presentation possible.