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Advice for Home Buyers AND Sellers

Posted at 10:07 AM, May. 4, 2015

Advice to Buyers


Market frenzy is here again. More new listings will be coming onto the market and Buyers will be competing for the home of their dreams with creative offers and creative outreach to the Sellers. While lifestyle choice remains number one‚ economic reality is quickly moving up to replace lifestyle choice in the home buying process because of the double digit increase in rent prices in the Denver area‚ pent up Buyer demand‚ and the low inventory of homes for sale.

What is a Buyer to do? Manage your expectations‚ be prepared to participate now as time is of the essence‚ and remain positive about the home buying process.

Know what you want in a home‚ where you want to live‚ and what price range you can afford. Complete the pre-qualification process so you know the price range that you qualify for when you are purchasing a home. Be prepared‚ manage your expectations‚ and be open to looking at the entire Denver market. Reach out to a Professional today about your best options and opportunities to participate and succeed in the purchase of your “Dream” home.


Advice to Sellers

While the current inventory of homes available for sale remains low‚ more homes will be coming onto the market. Buyers will include First Time Home Buyers‚ Generational Buyers (both young and older)‚ Boomerang Buyers‚ and Investors. With low inventory‚ increasing household formations‚ and pent up buyer demand& Sellers should expect many showings‚ multiple offers‚ even offers without the prospective Buyer even seeing the home and creative Buyer outreach either by video‚ letter‚ or person to person.

Quick thoughts on how a Seller can leave a lasting impression with a Buyer on his/her home for sale: inspired staging, bold paint jobs‚ de-clutter each room‚ make each room feel less personal‚ new front door‚ make the home feel fresh and clean‚ and creative landscaping.

If your home is on the market or will be soon‚ how do you satisfy a buyer’s need resulting in the successful sale of your home? Let’s not forget that buyers have done their homework‚ know exactly what they want in their new home‚ and will only compete for the homes of their dreams. As such‚ the homeowner looking to sell one’s home needs a professional who is a local expert‚ is hyper local market (neighborhood) knowledgeable‚ and can assist in the Professional plan to sell one’s home. Now is the time to reach out to a Professional.

Homework Assignment

Posted at 10:10 AM, Apr. 17, 2015

Originally Posted on by 

Spring is here! Time to get out the rakes! I always recommend to my sellers that they make the yard work look easy for potential buyers. The last thing we want is to let the buyers think that their weekends are going to be chewed up with hours and hours of yard work. This means, if the yard is cleared of leaves from last fall and, it appears that the home is low maintenance. The appearance of too much yard work can be a turnoff to potential buyers.

Something to consider for today’s “Homework”
Go HERE for more Real Estate Advice or to search for homes

How in the world can I buy a home in this market?

Posted at 9:28 AM, Apr. 17, 2015

Originally Posted on 

Home Buyer: How in the world can I buy a home in this market?
Jeff Hansen, Realtor in Colorado: Here’s how.

It is a crazy market out there! Crazier than I have ever seen in my over 22 years in the real estate business. You have heard the stories I’m sure. No inventory of homes for sale and tons of buyers. That means bidding wars- and they seem to get crazier by the week! If you are trying to buy a home right now, you have, undoubtedly, run into this scenario; You find your dream home.  You go to make an offer, only to find that home is the dream of a dozen more buyers. You put your offer in and before you know it, you were beat out by a boat load of other offers. You feel beaten and bruised and as thou you never even had a shot at that home. What now?

With the right information and action, this market can be fun! Without it, it can be terrifying.

Here’s what you must know. There are Realtors out there that have experience in handling multi-offer scenarios and then there are the ones that are intimidated by them and don’t know what to do if they are in competition with other buyers agents. You MUST align yourself with a broker that is skilled in taking the top position in bidding wars. How do you do that? Ask.

Too many buyers use the Realtor that is close to them. And by that I mean the one that is either a friend or a relative or someone they have used in the past. That is all well and good until you find that this agent may not have the proper experience to get the job done in a tough environment. They don’t have the skills to make it in a crazy sellers market. Maybe they do, if so use them. If not, find another one. Buying a home and making your biggest investment of your life is too important to let nepotism take the lead. Ask your broker these questions to determine if they are going to get you to the closing table.

1. What is your strategy if we are involved in a bidding war?
The answer should not be to present an offer and wait and see. I will tell you now that this will fail.
The answer should be that they are being proactive to the scenario by presenting a “dynamic offer”, one that changes on the fly to stay viable throughout the bidding war. How is this done? By adding a clause that keeps changing based on other active offers. This is called an Escalation Clause. Quite simply, you stay ahead of every other offer as the flow in. It is written in such a way that adjusts the offer price up to stay ahead of the other prices. If your broker does not know how to use an Escalation Clause, Find one that does.

2. What are your plans of locating a home for me?
In today’s housing environment, at least here in the Metro Denver area, almost all homes priced under $400,000 are experiencing bidding wars. The sold prices are actually exceeding the list prices! In some cases by 10-15%! All of the homes that I have listed this year have sold for over asking as the bidding wars heated up. That means your Realtor should have a plan for what price range to search in for you. If your lender says you can afford up to $300,000, your agent better not be showing you homes priced at $295,000 to $300,000. More like $275,000 to $285,000, tops. Be prepared to spend more than asking and have to come up with the difference in cash. Talk to your or an agent about why this is soooo important. If they don’t know why this is incredibly critical, find another agent!

3. How long have you been selling in this area? Do other brokers know you, respect you? How can I be sure?
The last two listings I sold went to a bidding war and the numbers and dates ended up very close at the end. Which offer did the sellers choose? The one with the reputable broker involved. Experience matters people! I cannot express that enough. There have been cases in my career where the offer price was a bit lower on one contract but the broker had clout, so the sellers chose that deal. You have to think ahead and be certain your broker can get you to the closing table.

This should get you going in the right direction. Stop being terrified of this market and go have fun! Need more help? Contact me and I will be there. If your broker isn’t passing muster, others can… I can.
Happy house hunting.

Here we discuss multi-offer scenarios on the selling side.

How can I get the most for my home in this market?

Posted at 9:24 AM, Apr. 17, 2015

Home Seller: How can I get the most for my home in this market?

Jeff Hansen, Realtor in Colorado: Here’s how.

It is a crazy market out there! Crazier than I have ever seen in my over 22 years in the real estate business. You have heard the stories I’m sure. No inventory of homes for sale and tons of buyers. That means bidding wars- and they seem to get crazier by the week! If you are trying to sell a home right now, you have picked one of the best times ever!

Now, more than ever you need an experienced Broker to sell your home. Bidding wars are great and can benefit the seller wonderfully, if handled right.

Here’s what you must know. There are Realtors out there that have experience in handling multi-offer scenarios and then there are the ones that are intimidated by them and don’t know what to do if they must juggle 3, 5 and in many cases over 10 offers by buyers! You MUST align yourself with a broker that is skilled in taking on the challenging job to sort out the contract that benefits you, the seller, the most. How do you do that? Ask your broker this:

  1. What is your strategy if we are involved in a bidding war?

The answer should not be to take the first offer that comes in the door. The answer should be that they are being proactive to the scenario by setting I (delet thisI) a timeframe to allow for showings over a two to three day period and then provide a time for which each interested party can present their bid. This provides a fair playing field for those that may not be able to jump the second the sign goes in the yard. I have great buyers and usually the really good ones have jobs. This means they might not be able to leave that job at the beckoned call of a real estate sign. They have to wait until after work or even a weekend. So my advice is to give enough time to get those good buyers in the door.

  1. Ask your broker how do they determine the best offer.

The answer should not be the one with the highest dollar amount. I know that sounds weird, but the best offers sometimes aren’t the best price. What good is a high offer that has difficult financing attached to it, or even a contingency for the buyer to sell their existing home? A cash offer waiving the inspection and appraisal for thousands less could be the one that gets you to the closing table. Ask your agent their strategy to maximize your ability to close. This should involve the broker taking the extra steps in researching each offer by calling lenders, waiving inspections and/or appraisals, following up on the buyers’ ability to show proof of funds to close, etc. and then taking all of that knowledge and discussing with you what is the best fit for your situation. Make sure your broker understands that it is ultimately your choice which offer is best and not the broker’s.

  1. Ask your broker, How long have they been selling in your area? Do other brokers know you, respect you? How can I be sure?

I know that if brokers have a tremendously strong buyer and they are deciding between a couple of homes to make an offer on, these brokers will look at the listing broker to see if this is one that can be trusted to handle any scenario sent their way. Homes listed with reputable brokers make it to the closing table. Experience matters people! I cannot express that enough. You have to think ahead and be certain that your broker can get you to your goal.

This should get you going in the right direction. In this market it is very easy to have some fun! But don’t let inexperience take the fun out of it. Need more help? Contact me and I will be there. If your broker isn’t passing muster, others can… I can.

Happy house selling.

Here we discuss multi-offer scenarios on the buying side.

It is legit this time! Housing Recovery is on!

Posted at 8:29 AM, Nov. 29, 2012

 The housing recovery is really on! According to Case-Shiller and the chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, U.S. National Home Price Index recorded a 3.6 percent gain in the third quarter of 2012 over the third quarter of 2011, marking the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices. In September 2012, the 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual increases of 2.1percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.

Denver, one of the Composite Cities, showed positive increases across the board, month over month and year over year. Up 6.7%; showing better than the National Index of +3.6%.

Contact me for more local information.

True sign of a housing recovery

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jun. 20, 2012

 We’ve talked a bunch about how the foreclosures, short sales and bank owned homes on the market have hurt home prices, but guess what? It is the pricing of the foreclosures that is driving prices up across the board.  

Significant price increases in bank-owned foreclosures are driving gains at the national, regional and local levels, helping home prices turn the corner with small quarterly and yearly gains. National average prices for bank-owned foreclosures (REO) were up 8.1 percent over a year ago.

Looks like we are still heading in the right direction.

Seeing Signs Everywhere?

Posted at 12:30 PM, Apr. 16, 2012

As of today, there are 28,608 homes in the marketplace in the Greater Metro Denver Area. That is a big number, but here’s the good news, 11,672 of those homes are Under Contract and waiting to Close. That is 41%! So, you may be driving around town and noticing a ton of For Sale signs in your neighbors’ yards, just remember, almost half of those are already Sold! 

Rent Vs. Buy

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr. 5, 2012

Rent Vs. Buy

64% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home. 70% of renters think that owning is superior to renting. 84% of the general population believes that owning a home makes more sense than renting.

-Fannie Mae National Housing Survey


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Colorado Housing Market Update

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr. 3, 2012

 The Housing Market in Colorado

Let’s  take a quick look at the main factors determining Colorado’s housing market; Unemployment, Prices, Affordability, Confidence, Interest Rates, Distressed Home Market, Vacancy Rates, and Absorption.

Unemployment in Colorado is at 7.8% compared to the National Average of 8.3%. At this level, Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates and is trending down. This is creating greater confidence in the overall market.

Home prices in Colorado have increased slowly, about 2.2% is all, but is expected to continue to increase as this market improves.

Affordability is at an all time high in Colorado. The rental rates are way up and prices are way down, that along with record low interest rates make buying a house in Colorado incredibly affordable.

Colorado’s distressed market is decreasing at a rate that was unexpected. We are now at 2006 levels and dropping continuously. There is the matter of “phantom inventory” of foreclosures that still threatens to increase these numbers and is yet to be determined. This is something to keep an eye on.

The vacancy rates are at a record low in the Metro Denver area. This means that there is real demand for rentals. This makes investment home buying very attractive.

Absorption Ratios deal with the ratio of homes on the market compared to homes sold. It shows, along with other things, how much active inventory we see and how long that inventory of homes will linger on the market. Colorado is seeing low absorption ratios and that means our inventories are dropping faster than expected. Average Days On the Market, DOM, is down 15% over last year!

Another key factor is that there are many buyers and sellers dealing with multiple offers. This means that buyers cannot expect to come in with “low-ball” offers anymore and sellers can expect prices to climb.

There are positives to both side of the transaction, buying and selling. But one thing is clear, these factors all point to one thing, the shift is on from a buyer market to a seller market. Hold on and happy buying… and selling!

Watch this video to get a more detailed explanation of each of these factors. Or you can always contact me directly. Jeff Hansen, RE/MAX Professionals.


Economic Outlook

Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar. 28, 2012

I have been reading, and I am sure you have run across this recently as well, the US economy is improving rapidly. The effect of this improvement is a mindset that is more favorable to big investments. That mindset causes people to make investments in things like homes and investment properties. I know this to be true because I, as a Realtor, have seen a huge increase in investment properties over the last 6 months. If I want to write an offer on a home or even a condo for an investor, depending on the price range, we had better get it in in the first few hours and it better be a full price offer or better or we miss out! Yes, folks the bidding wars are back. Interest rates are at incredibly low levels and prices have been down for some time now, it was just a matter of time for mindsets to change and pent up demand to spill over into the housing market. What is causing this? The increased confidence in the overall US economy. It ebbs and flows. Today it flows! 

Confidence is up!

Posted at 11:00 AM, Mar. 26, 2012

 The Consumer Confidence Index keeps rising; up over 9 points for February to 70.8. Plus the Present Situation Index is also up from 38.8 in January to 45. The short term looks good too with an increase of the Expectaions Index of over 11 points to 88!

OK, so what’s it all mean? Buyers are back and ready to make deals. This is for the entire economy, and that includes real estate. So, this is yet another indicator that the housing market is growing stronger, month by month!

Home sales are up again!

Posted at 9:15 AM, Mar. 21, 2012

 Colorado is definitely showing this! Pending home sales still on the rise!

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GDP to get help from housing, finally!

Posted at 7:43 AM, Feb. 27, 2012


Housing to have an impact on GDP for the 1st time in 7 years!

Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb. 13, 2012

More talk of better lending! 


Will 2012 Be The Comeback Year For Housing in Colorado?

Posted at 9:48 AM, Feb. 9, 2012

 What drives housing markets? I would have to say, confidence. What drives confidence? Income. How do you get an income? By having a job. It is clear that the best indicator for a housing recovery is jobs. According to Colorado Realtor Magazine, many of the indicators are moving in the right direction. The Census Bureau shows that Colorado has seen a net increase in population of over 31,000 people, and at the same time exceeded expectations when it comes to the jobs numbers. Colorado was expected to have 8.4% unemployment at the end of 2011, down from 8.7%. As it turned out, as of January 1, 2012, unemployment was actually at 8% even. (The nation’s unemployment rate was at 8.5%.) So, the increase in population along with the decrease in unemployment indicates apositive jobs situation, don’t you think?

Jobs are here, home prices are down, and this State is truly beautiful. With all of those factors on it’s side, you got to believe that Colorado is primed for the 2012 recovery.

Taken by a friend in the lovely State of Colorado. Thanks, Jennifer.

This one I took in January 2012.

Colorado is growing but are there enough homes for these newbies?

Posted at 11:36 AM, Feb. 3, 2012

 Colorado is seeing a net gain of 31,000 new residents last year, according to the Census Bureau. Lower inventories of homes for sale and the lack of building means that we are looking a shortage square in the face. Here’s the breakdown; 8,854 single family homes currently on the market, compared to 13,714 the same time last year. That is over 35% fewer homes for sale. With that, coupled with the inflow of new Coloradans, we have ourselves the ingredients for a steamy batch of Shortage! Shortages in supply create a fierce marketplace. This fierceness could turn into bidding wars and ultimately, price increases. So, is it a good time to sell? Could be the best time to sell since 2008!

Home sales are up again!

Posted at 11:17 AM, Jan. 23, 2012

5% increase in existing home sales!

I’d like to think that the Hansen Group is doing their part! We were the #1 Closing team in our RE/MAX office for December!

Read more HERE

Who in the world would yell “Fire” in a movie theatre?

Posted at 8:07 PM, Jan. 11, 2012

 What happens if someone yells “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre? It causes panic and people try to barge their way to the nearest exits. Even if that means they crush and trample others on the way out.  Others might stay and assist others out safely. But even then, the panic is so high that things get out of control and a larger percentage of people can get hurt than that should have if there was no panic to begin with. What if it was just a small, manageable fire? People would still get hurt in the panic. Some may even be too fearful to return to their seats and then might even miss the best movie they have ever seen! Panic causes people to do irrational things.

I have been hearing bad news in the real estate market for years now. And for the most part, for good reason. The real estate industry has taken a beating unlike most of us have ever seen. Lately, however, the news is better than is reported. Sales are up, investors are making incredible buys, sellers are finding creative ways to weather the storm, borrowers are getting excellent rates an great loan deals, etc. That however, makes for boring news. Isn’t it more fun to hear of the blood and guts? The stories of success always fall by the wayside. It is sad, but we all know it’s true.
Now, back to the fire in the movie theatre; The talking heads in the news media have screamed “Fire!” and we have all ran for the isles! We panicked! We foreclosed on our homes, we negotiated short sales, we walked away from our white picket fences. But, most importantly, many of us have shied away from the housing market as a whole. Sure, the housing market got bad there for a while. And because of that, I believe too many people have gotten too fearful to return to market. I look at it as the unfortunate few that never got up the courage to return to their seats in the movie theatre and missed an incredible show! Personally, I want to see the ending, I want to experience the drama, I want to have the wonderful experiences that this housing market still has to offer.
I have been tracking home sales for many years now, take it from me, although it is not the best market in history, it is surely not as bad as you have been hearing. And I can assure you, it is not appropriate to be yelling “Fire!”

By the way, Here’s some proof


State of the Inventory

Posted at 10:36 AM, Jan. 3, 2012

 Well, here we are again, the beginning of a new year. Fresh start. So, let’s talk about the new inventory numbers! Yea! Boring, I know, but important.

Metrolist shows that 8,854 homes are still available in Metro Denver. Down 13%. That is substantial. A double digit drop is great news. Usually, during this time of the year decreases can be attributed to sellers wanting not to market their homes for sale during the holidays. However, 2011 was different. Read this for more explanation.

One more indication that this market is healing; home closings are up 3% last month. Prices have leveled off and are virtually unchanged from last year. But the big change is that there are 32% more homes currently under contract compared to this time last year! Buyers are out there. They are taking advantage of the low prices and the incredibly low interest rates. And, more importantly, they are putting homes under contract, not just sitting on the fence anymore. Looks to me that 2012 is off to a fine start.

A slow recovery, albeit, but a recovery nonetheless. Stay tuned.

Home Search

Posted at 9:45 AM, Dec. 29, 2011

Want to buy a house in Colorado? Go to HERE and enter your Home Search criteria and start your search today!

RE/MAX Professeionals, Jeff Hansen, Colorado Realtor.

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