Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tips for Selling Your House during the Holidays

While other sellers might be taking their homes off the market during the winter months thinking that there are no serious buyers out there (and that it's just too cold), sellers who keep their homes on the market during winter enjoy even more traffic, and are dealing with very serious buyers who brave the cold because they want to buy.
Here are some tips to make your home even more attractive during the winter months:
1) Turn on the lights: No one likes a dark house. Counter winter’s cloudy and short days by turning on all of the lights in a home for each showing. Also, keep the lights in the front of the house on so buyers and agents can easily navigate their way to your house, and not trip or slip on anything. 
2) Have a place for shoes: You don't want buyers to bring the weather into your home. Make it easy for them to take their shoes off with a festive area rug at the front door for example. You can also have slippers or disposable booties available, along with a bench or chair, if there is room for one, where a visitor can sit and easily remove or put on their boots.
3) Cultivate a Festive Look: Appropriate decorations for Christmas time will make buyers feel at home, and give your home a cheerful, warm feel even if it is cold and dark outside. But don't go to excess. 
4) Watch for odors: Homes can get stuffy in the winter, especially with pet odors. Use a room fragrance if needed, but nothing too strong, and clean a bit more during the winter months. 
5) Don’t make it too toasty: Keeping the heat on too high may make buyers uncomfortable. You can keep the temperature at a comfortable 65 degrees during your showings. Potential buyers will most likely be wearing their winter coats when they tour the house so no reason to make them sweat. 
6) Cookies always make people happy: If you can, leave some cookies out to give the buyers some yummy in their tummy while they are browsing your home, giving them some more good spirits!

Give me a call if you're having problems selling your home or are thinking about selling your home: 720.987.8998

Thursday, December 15, 2011

RTD Panel Votes to Recommend Hotel Redevelopment of Union Station

Denver Post - A sharply divided committee of the Regional Transportation District​ board Tuesday voted 9-5 to recommend that the full board approve a plan to redevelop Denver Union Station with restaurants at street level and a hotel on the upper floors!  If the full board approves the hotel proposal Dec. 20, it will give RTD general manager Phil Washington the authority to negotiate with Union Station Alliance for the project to transform the historic building into a boutique hotel affiliated with the Oxford Hotel. 

Where are Mortgage Rates Right Now?

In Freddie Mac's results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, the average fixed mortgage rates changing little and remaining near their historic lows helping to keep home buyer affordability high. The 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged at or below 4.00 percent for the fifth consecutive week while the 15-year fixed has hovered around 3.30 percent. Additionally, adjustable-rate mortgages ticked down slightly averaging new record lows for the second straight week.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.00 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 1, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.46 percent. 

  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.30 percent with an average 0.8 point, the same from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.81 percent. 

  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.91 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.49 percent.

  • Source: Realty Times

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Metro Denver Rental Housing Rates

    For all you investors who are interested in rentals, there is still good news in the rental housing market!
    While the rental vacancy rate among metro Denver’s single-family homes and condos rose slightly from the second to third quarter, it remains low enough to drive a year-over-year rent increase.
    That’s according to the most recent report from the Colorado Division of Housing (DOH), released Monday.
    The third-quarter vacancy rate rose to 3.4 percent, up from the second-quarter rate of 2.6 percent and the 2.9 percent rate from the same quarter in 2010.
    “The small increase in vacancies reflects the fact that we’re continuing to see new inventory come onto the market,” Susan Melton, owner of Assured Management in Lakewood, said in a statement. “We’re still being approached by homeowners who can’t sell their homes, but don’t want to manage rentals themselves, and we also have established investor clients who are adding to the inventory of rental homes they already own.”
    Adams County logged the area’s highest countywide vacancy rate at 5.2 percent. Douglas County was the lowest at 1.6 percent, with Broomfield not far behind at 1.9 percent for the third quarter.
    Vacancy rates for the rest of the counties surveyed were:
    • Adams, 5.2 percent.
    • Arapahoe, 3.1 percent.
    • Denver, 3 percent.
    • Jefferson, 4.1 percent.
    The average monthly rent of $1,049 dipped slightly from the second-quarter’s average of $1,063, but rose from the $1,041-level recorded in the third quarter of 2010. (A DBJ story on the second-quarter DOH vacancy report is here.)
    “Year over year, these properties have experienced an increase in the average rent for 21 of the last 22 quarters,” Ron Throupe, assistant professor of business at the University of Denver and the report’s author, said in a statement. “However, most of those annual increases over the past three years have ranged from 2 to 3 percent. So, generally speaking, the rent growth is there, but it’s been relatively mild.”
    Jefferson County logged the strongest rent growth, with an increase of 3 percent year-over-year. Adams County reported the biggest decline at 2.5 percent from last year’s average rent for the third quarter.
    Average rents for all counties were:
    • Adams, $1,093.
    • Arapahoe, $1,007.
    • Boulder/Broomfield, $1,601.
    • Denver, $973.
    • Douglas, $1,399.
    • Jefferson, $1,011.
    Average rents are not adjusted for inflation.
    While average number of days on the market fell to an all-time low of 15.7 days in the second quarter, that number stood at 24.5 days in the third quarter – down from 36 days year-over-year.
    The full report is available at the DOH website here.
    Source: Dennis Huspeni

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Last Month's Real Estate (and Tebow) Stats

    Comparing this last November 2011 to November 2010, the Metro-Denver area is still doing well (and Tebow is doing amazing!). 

    Closed sales in November are actually up 15%!

    • The Number of Closed Sales increased (up 15.2%, to 2,468)
    • Average Days on Market decreased 8% to 99 days
    • Number of Active Listings decreased 33% to 10,213
    • Absorption Rate declined 39% to 4.7 months
    • Average Sold Price decreased slightly, 2% (from $281,466 to $275,951)

    Tim Tebow 2011 vs 2010 stats: 

    2010:  9 games played   41 completions   654 yards     5 touchdowns

    2011:  7 games played   75 completions   1,054 yards  10 touchdowns

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell?

    60% of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because it’s a good time to sell, according to a new survey conducted by

    Why are the holidays such a good time to sell? 79% of the agents surveyed said that more serious buyers come out during the holidays, and 61% say less competition from other properties make it a great time to sell. Plus, 17% of agents say the cold weather is actually a benefit, making homes feel more cozy.

    But online listing photos become even more crucial during the holiday season, according to the survey. Slightly more than half of agents say that the photos are more important because sellers tend to offer less open houses around the holidays, and so the online photos help buyers decide the properties to see and which ones to possibly bypass.

    The biggest hurdles sellers face during the holidays, however, are keeping a home ready to show (clean and staged) as well as winter weather conditions and buyers’ vacation schedules, the survey found.

    Source: “Survey Data Reveals Majority of Real Estate Professionals Recommend Clients List Their Homes During the Holidays,” (Dec. 2, 2011)