Housing Market Helps Spur Recovery

For years we’ve heard economists say the housing market will never recover until the overall economy recovers.  Guess what, now the experts believe the housing sector may actually be the driving influence in the recovery.

Here are four reports published in the last month that affirm this idea:

Morgan Stanley

“In terms of its contribution to real GDP, residential fixed investment has been a positive – albeit modest – force over the most recent four quarters, marking its longest span of back-to-back positive results since 2005.”


Deutsche Bank

“The [overall] resumption in residential activity cannot be understated as the long awaited housing recovery should help buoy consumer confidence and provide a mild lift to second half economic output after what was likely a disappointing first half of the year.”

Fannie Mae

“The data from the past month collectively point to decelerating economic growth, but growth nonetheless…However, despite signs of deteriorating momentum for economic activity, housing continues to be a bright spot as news from the housing market has been relatively upbeat, presenting a rare upside boost to the economy.”

Goldman Sachs

“As we look back at previous major housing recoveries, 1975 and 1991 began with negative jobs growth…In each case, the home sales recovery was fueled by home price improvement, driving new job growth and those jobs creating a fresh wave of demand that supported a multi-year recovery in housing.”

Bottom Line

Forget what experts used to say, the housing market is NO LONGER a victim of the economy … It may even be the cure.

Green Homes Have Never Been Hotter

If you want to sell a home in today’s market, you need to distinguish your property from the rest of the competition. What makes your property stand out?

That’s why we’re on the subject of green homes this week. A new study by McGraw-Hill Construction shows significant growth in the green residential industry.

Sellers shopping homes that are not only green, but also of higher quality and better value, have a major competitive edge over traditional homes on the market.

Green Homes Offer Competitive Edge

Green housing has never been more popular. New and remodeled green homes already accounted for 17 percent of the construction market back in 2011 (or $17 billion), nearly three times the amount under construction in 2005.

If the market continues on its current pace, green homes could grab up to 38 percent of the residential market by 2016 (with a market share of $87 to $114 billion).

Numbers don’t lie. Green is here to stay – and not just because of a desire to improve the planet.

Though green home additions can be more expensive to purchase and install - they can save you lots and lots of money!

Green Homes Save Money

It’s not like the country has suddenly developed a social conscience. The three biggest reasons to make green additions to your home that are cited in the study all relate to saving money.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not, saving money appeals to everyone.

Most Popular Reasons To Green A Home

  • Improve your home’s air quality
  • Conserve water usage in your home
  • Improve overall efficiency to lower energy usage

All in all, the biggest selling green home improvements relate to sustainability, improved waste management practices and use products made from post-consumer materials.

Builders Going Green

Improving your home’s indoor air quality is extremely hot right now, just ask your builder. 60 percent of the builders surveyed believe all the efforts to improve indoor air quality has made homes more efficient than they were even two years ago.

Half of the home builders surveyed consider durable materials one of the most important features in new homes today. Durability and better materials are key reasons why green homes and remodeling projects are considered of higher quality.

Remodelers also emphasized greening their properties as often as possible. So what are you waiting for?

Bottom Line

If you want to improve the value of your home and save energy, look into making green addition to your home to make it rise above the rest.

And if you missed my last post – check it out to learn more about how to finance your green projects; and save the planet while saving your pocketbook, with a green home improvement.

Don’t go changin’ your listing price

In this market what happens when you change the listing price of your home? Good question. The answer is nothing good for the seller.

Yes, there are plenty of shady broker/agents out there who will happily fill a sellers’ head full of bad advice on this subject. Don’t take bad advice from con artists out for a quick-buck.

Really Want To Change Your Listing Price?

If all of this is news to you – I urge you to remain calm and clear-headed all the way through the home selling process, and to fire your real estate agent.

Just The Facts, Ma’am

I know, I know, who can you trust? The answer is no one but ‘me’ naturally, so listen up all you information starved home owners.

We all know how elusive the truth can be when wading into the treacherous world of home buying and selling – so here are 3 undisputed facts from an objective expert that may change your life.

1) On average, homes that change listing price take longer to sell.

2) On average, homes that change listing price recoup less money than comparable houses who do not change their listing price.

Set Your Own Asking Price. Once.

Naturally, the most important part of this equation is how you start out. It is crucially important for you to establish the right price from the beginning.

Remember, there is a fine line between confidence and hubris, optimism and delusion. Don’t let anyone fool you and don’t fool yourself.  Remain calm and clear-headed throughout the process.

In This Case, Change Is Bad

It doesn’t matter if you raise or lower your asking price, the direction of the listing price change does not matter.  Simply changing one way or the other leads to longer marketing times and lower prices. Again. Facts.

3) If you overvalue your home at the outset, your property will most likely experience a listing price change much worse than you envisioned yourself.

Smart People Make Smart Money

Don’t forget your mantra home-sellers: List too-high and you’ll be the one who pays… List too-high and you will be the one who pays.

Got it? Good. Now don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Don’t Change A Solid Listing

If you’ve done your homework and worked with a reliable broker/agent, you can find a sweet spot in the pricing spectrum and feel comfortable. If you are unfortunate enough to be with one of those afore-mentioned brokers/agents who carelessly throw homes on the market, thinking you will ‘get the price right later’ – here is a newsflash: you’re broker is making more work for both of you – and frankly not doing you (as the seller) any favors.

Bottom Line

Establish the right price for your home at the beginning! Whether you’re a seller or a broker/agent, do your homework: analyze the market, be realistic and don’t go changin’ your listing price unless absolutely necessary.

Denver Second In Quick Home Sales

Metro Denver’s real estate market, not long ago a buyer friendly market, has seemingly become a seller’s haven, at least for homes under $500,000.

The Denver Post reports many sellers in today’s market are choosing from multiple offers from competing buyers. Some offers are even coming in higher than the asking price. Is this an aberration? Not if you believe these numbers:

Sellers Market Moving Fast

A new report shows Denver homes ranks second in the nation for shortest time listed before being sold (33 days). The national median is almost triple ours (89 days).

Want more proof? In recent months buyer demand has surged and the number of homes for sale in metro Denver has dropped sharply.

In addition, there were 10,325 homes for sale at the end of March, less than half of what was available in March of last year…. Numbers don’t lie.

250K to 400K Homes In Demand

In high demand are homes priced from $250,000 to $400,000, in Denver neighborhoods such as Park Hill, Congress Park, Curtis Park, Mayfair and the Highlands.

Even though metro Denver homes have shown only marginal price appreciation so far this year, real estate analysts feel strong demand and multiple offers could push values higher in the lower to moderate price ranges.

Foreclosures Still Lurking

One factor that continues to make price predictions difficult is foreclosures. Lenders hold an estimated 1,650 foreclosed properties in metro Denver that haven’t been put on the market, according to data compiled by Redfin.

As the market strengthens, more foreclosures will be listed for sale, which may slow down price appreciation. So put your home on the market now.

Bottom Line

This latest round of statistics prove there is a shortage of homes for sale in Denver. Those on the market are selling fast so don’t wait to get yours out there. If your home is priced right and shows well, it is going to sell.

2236 Clermont St | Park Hill | Open House, Sun Jan 15th 1-3pm

2236 Clermont St | Park Hill | Open House, Sun Jan 15th 1-3pm

808 S Vine | Wash Park | Open House, Sat & Sun, Dec 17th & 18th from 1-4pm

808 S Vine | Wash Park | Open House, Sat & Sun, Dec 17th & 18th from 1-4pm

Home Sales On The Rise Everywhere

Who says the real estate market is struggling? The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2011 3rd Quarter Housing Report, which says otherwise.  The numbers say we’re actually on the rise.

The report showed combined sales of single family homes, condominiums and co-ops has increased in EVERY state (when compared to the 3rd quarter of 2010). Don’t believe me? Here are the state-by-state numbers:


Looks like the death of the real estate market has been greatly exaggerated. But never argue with the facts.

The next time you hear a person say houses aren’t selling, ask them, “In which state?” then show them the chart.

Park Hill, Open House, Sunday, Nov 20th from 2-4 PM

Park Hill, Open House, Sunday, Nov 20th from 2-4 PM

2290 Dahlia St – Open House

Open House in Park Hill, located at 2290 Dahlia St, Denver, CO.  This Sunday, November 13, 2011 from 2pm – 4pm:

Selling Short: Don’t Forget the Buyer

Today I would like to re-post a story from the KCM Blog from Christopher Reale, Director of Short Sale Operations at Lepizzera and Laprocina TItle and Escrow Services. An expert on the short sale process, Christopher has some valuable insights into a tricky process that I think you will enjoy. Take it away Christopher…

Educating the Buyer

Short sale success does not stop at educating the seller as to their loss of mitigation options and then successfully negotiating with the seller’s bank to accept a short payoff. Today’s complex real estate market warrants more. Having negotiated over 1000 successful short sales, we have found one aspect of the short sale process that needs serious attention: Educating the buyer regarding the proper short sale procedures.

Educating the buyer and setting the correct expectations is imperative to a successful short sale transaction. Nothing is more discouraging than successfully negotiating a short sale only to have the buyers walk from or not be able to close the transaction. The following are some precautionary and educational items to consider which would avoid such buyer fallout.

Patience is a Virtue

Not every buyer is a short sale buyer. However, one important characteristic a short sale buyer must have is patience. Setting the proper expectations regarding the time frame of a short sale plays a key role in bringing the short sale to the closing table. If a buyer is not willing to stay in the transaction for at least 90 days, they are not a short sale buyer. Of course we cannot speak for every circumstance. But, in most cases, the short sale process takes 60-90 days to complete. For their patience, the buyer will likely earn instant equity. The average short sale, according to the Realty Trac report dated 5/21/11, sells for 79 percent of market value. To that end, a buyer will earn “patience equity” (a term coined by Steve Harney).

Work with a Lender that Understands the Short Sale Process

The pre-approval process should be the same whether the buyer is being pre- approved to buy a short sale or pre-approved to buy a non-distressed property. This seems like simple advice doesn’t it? However, from our vast experience negotiating short sales, we have found that 35% of successfully negotiated short sales do not reach the closing table because the buyers financing falls through. We must educate buyers to work with the proper lender who will not only walk them through the mortgage process, but also understands the short sale process. Too many mortgage applications start at the time of short sale approval. Some short sale approvals expire in 10- 15 days from date of issue. In many cases, that is not enough time for a lender to underwrite the file, order title, order appraisal and fund the loan.

A proper pre-approved short sale buyer would be one who is brought through a complete underwriting analysis prior to the short sale offer. This includes full income analysis, full asset analysis and full credit analysis. The ideal lender is one who completes the underwriting procedure and has a credit decision pending clear title and appraisal. The lender should also help in keeping the buyer engaged throughout the process. In a lengthy short sale negotiation, the lender should be proactive in keeping the loan file up to date with recent paystubs, asset documentation etc. This will ensure the transaction closes on time and without extensions.

Complete Inspections Prior to the Short Sale Approval

This is a confrontational subject but each buyer should be educated to understand that in most cases any major deficiency regarding the condition of the property will not be cured prior to closing. However, in many instances, if the deficiencies are known prior to the start of the short sale negotiation, the short selling bank will be more willing to except a sale price that is discounted deeper to the current market value. It is a challenging task to go back to the bank and ask for a lower sales price when a home inspection that was done after short sale approval showed major deficiencies.

In addition to the home inspection, the lender appraisal can be done prior to the short sale approval. In most circumstances where the short selling bank’s broker price opinion shows a property value that is much higher than the buyer offer, the lender appraisal can be used to negotiate the value.

We should educate buyers as to the pros and cons of completing the inspections prior to short sale approval. We understand there is a monetary commitment that would have to be made. Having said that, having the inspections done can save allot of aggravation to the seller and buyer later in the process.

In closing, the above are just a few items to consider when educating the buyer regarding the proper short sale procedures. If we remember to keep the buyer engaged and walk them through the process every step of the way, we will ensure the buyer earns their “patience equity” and the short sale transaction closes.