Homebuyers bring unusual offers to the table in Denver’s tight housing market

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Blog, Denver Real Estate Market

The spring home selling season is well underway, and in Denver’s notoriously tight market, creative buyers are blooming everywhere. From offering thousands over the asking price, to showing up at a seller’s front door with an enticing plate of cookies, buyers are thinking outside the box to land a house.
“Experts say the market is so crazy right now, buyers are offering trips to Paris or Broncos season tickets for a year, just to win-over sellers,” notes a Denver7 article.
It’s insane,” a real estate broker told the news channel. “I had 78 showings and 17 offers on a property last week.”
Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) just released its monthly report for March, which shows a continuation of trends that have predominated for the last several years: low inventory pushing increasing prices.
In March, the average price of a residential home in the metro area rose to $470,619-3.52% over February and 10.90% over March of last year. While inventory rose 13.10% over February, to 4,619 homes, that number is actually a 6.14% decrease over March of last year. The historic average number of active listings for March is more than triple that figure: 15,040.
“The anticipated cooling effect of unaffordability has yet to materialize in the figures,” notes Steve Danyliw, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee.
Bottom line: While more common sense prevails in the higher price ranges, where more inventory is available, the market remains tight in the low to average price range, where supply is particularly low.
As a result, buyers are competing with the zeal of wrestlers fighting for a pin. One Victorian home in Potter Highlands, according to Denver7, was listed for about $550,000. The winning buyer offered nearly $80,000 over that-close to $630,000.
Another buyer took a less expensive tack: She showed up at an Arvada home with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. (Alas, it wasn’t enough to score the house.)
Meanwhile, sellers are making demands that once would have sent buyers running.
Forget asking for buyers to waive the inspection and make up the difference between the appraisal and the home’s cost, one seller required buyers to promise to care for a pet squirrel-and they jumped at the chance. “It was funny at the time,” the listing agent told Denver7, “but people were serious. They said, ‘I swear to you we will take care of your pet squirrel.’ People are willing to do things they would have never done five years ago.”
Brokers note that buyers who make cash offers often have the advantage. But a heartfelt letter can also go a long way to winning over a seller.
While the task of finding a home may seem daunting, brokers note that buyers who keep up the fight will ultimately prevail.
“Just don’t give up,” one broker told Denvery7. “The right one always comes along. Never, ever, ever give up. It’s always going to work out.”

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