It’s definitely a seller’s market in the greater Denver area right now, and it can feel like a struggle to purchase a home. But did you know there’s a mix of classic strategies and innovative home buying tips that can make your home buying journey much smoother?
Today we’re going to share these home buying tips with you, increase your confidence, and hopefully get you excited to search for your new home.
First, let’s get started with a couple of Denver-area real estate stats:
- In May the active listings in the residential market totaled 5,895 units, and an 11.48 percent increase in the number of sold listings compared to April. These increases are normal for this time of the year.
- Denver is currently tied with Seattle for the lowest real estate inventory in US.
So, if you’re looking to buy a home here in Denver, you’re certainly investing in an appreciating market. But because the demand for homes is far outpacing the supply, you’ll need to be armed with some solid home buying strategies to have the best chance at landing the home of your dreams. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!
9 Home Buying Tips Denver-rites Should Know
1. Use The Right App
A list of home buying tips would never be complete without a nod to the exploding technology that’s taken over the real estate industry these past few decades.
For instance, it seems like everywhere you look right now there’s a new real estate app. The days of relying on your agent for any and all information about homes listed for sale are long gone. But beware: some apps are updated infrequently (even when it comes to a property’s contract status) and sometimes the prices aren’t even accurate.
The need for a high-quality real estate app with 100% of the available listings is what inspired us to partner with a powerful home search service to bring you the free Home Scouting App*. Not only can you locate all the homes available in and around your search radius, but you can also share your favorite properties on social media and access agent or loan officers – all without pressure (or any of the dreaded spam you’ll find on other real estate apps).
2. Hire The Right Agent
Choosing the right real estate agent can feel a little overwhelming, but it’s one of those home buying tips you should put plenty of emphasis on. It’s worth it to keep searching until you find an agent who you feel comfortable with, and who is both knowledgeable and reputable.
Today home buyers have plenty of information at their fingertips…what they don’t have is experience in the industry and a career’s worth of established contacts. No matter what curveballs come your way, you can still have a distinct advantage when your agent knows what she’s doing and is respected in her community.
Everyone you interact with along the way, including the lenders, will likely feel more comfortable with the process simply because your agent has built up a reputation for professionalism over the years. And you’ll certainly feel more comfortable when your agent is able to guide you through the many starts and stops of the homebuying process with ease.
3. Get Lender/Credit Approved
Your best bet in a seller’s market it to get an underwritten credit approval. This means your file is underwritten with a TBD (to be determined) address. It goes well beyond the typical “pre-approval” where you loan officer pulls your credit and looks at your financial history. Not all lenders have this option, so be sure to ask! You’ll be much more appealing to the seller when you have confidence in your financial position.
4. Be Prepared To Offer More Than List Price
This is one of those home buying tips that’s straightforward, yet a little hard to swallow at times: in the current seller’s market, the overwhelming majority of homes have multiple offers on them, and depending on the city, more than half will sell above list price. To be competitive you’ll need to know what you can afford and be willing to go for it by offering more than list price yourself.
Below: Housing market data from Redfin shows the percentage of home sold above asking in May.
5. Recognize That Real Estate Is A Year-Round Sport
Remember the days when the ups and downs of the real estate market used to be predictable? When spring came around, inventory would start to increase. Then sure enough, by midsummer the buyers and sellers would be hard at work until the real estate season would taper off around wintertime. This isn’t the case anymore.
More buyers are finding that looking at properties during holidays, inclement weather, and more, is a powerful way to gain an advantage in a competitive market.
6. It’s Okay To Be The Backup Buyer
A powerful strategy among these home buying tips is to keep an eye on properties that come back onto the market after falling out of contract. Old-school logic would label them “cursed” but it can just as often be a problem with the buyer, not the property itself, that caused the sale to fall through. In a fast-paced market, buyers can feel forced to make a snap decision and back out just as quickly.
You can also keep track of properties that have been on the market for some time, then do your homework to figure out why they haven’t sold. Maybe the sellers will be more likely to negotiate with you.
7. Be Willing to Compromise
This one is among the home buying tips that target your mindset: it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to your new home dealbreakers.
Cost, location, and size are among the criteria many home buyers are 100% set on when they first start out. But your search will be much easier if you take the time to pinpoint why a certain characteristic is important to you. Consider the overall lifestyle you’d like to lead, and you might be more open to a home that looks a little different on paper than you’d first imagined.
8. Consider Buying New
Denver is experiencing a time of huge growth, and this includes repurposing old spaces. Some older areas are being replaced with new properties that you might find very appealing, especially if you love details like open floor plans and energy-efficient technology. Are you willing to move in even as you wait for a newer neighborhood to become more seasoned and established? All the better to make these home buying tips work in your favor!
9. Get Personal
In a technology-saturated industry, this is among the home buying tips that might sound very old-fashioned at first: write a personal letter to help you stand out and persuade a seller to accept your offer. Don’t forget to include a picture!
Is there anything about your personal story that’s memorable or particularly powerful? From a veteran of the armed forces to a parent who’s been waiting for a chance to get her child in a certain school, a personal touch can mean a lot.
Put These Home Buying Tips To Good Use
Whenever you can, try to be ahead of the curve and stand out in this competitive real estate market. Simply by having these home buying tips in mind, you’ll have a competitive edge and solid strategy. Best of luck out there!
Disclaimer: Citywide Home Loans does not offer real estate services.