Welcome to Denver’s Housing Market

Realtors' favorite neighborhoods, advice for buyers and sellers, and a guide to some of the newest developments.

Tips & Tricks for Navigating the Market

Tips for Buyers

Get Prequalified with a lender.
“Before you even start looking, get prequalified,” says Rich Petrone, broker and owner of HomeMark Group Realty. And go local. “A local lender who has a working knowledge of the areas you’re looking and the broker you’re working with can really help solidify a transaction,” says Gretchen Rosenberg, president and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate.

Have an open mind.
“It’s okay to have a wish list, but know you might not get everything on it, including the neighborhood you first set your sights on,” says Rosenberg. Adds Courtney Ranson, broker at Perry & Co.: “Be open to looking at things outside your box. You may be surprised what you like.”

…And reasonable expectations.
“Buyers often have very high expectations of what their money will get them or get discouraged if they don’t find something right away,” says Ranson. Adds Petrone: “Be prepared to offer at least full price if the house is nice.”

Hire a reputable real estate broker.
“It may seem like you could save money by calling a listing agent directly, or walking into a homebuilder’s sales center unrepresented, but you have no one looking out for your best interests in a very complex transaction,” says Rosenberg. “What would you do if there were inspection or title issues? Encroachments or easements? Construction delays?”

Know the neighborhood.
“It’s not just the house you are buying; you are buying into a community, so really research the different neighborhoods,” says Ranson. Adds Bob Bell, of Mile Hi Property: “The historical data of a neighborhood’s value performance is available. Demand it as it will likely be performing similarly in your ownership time.”

Tips for Sellers

Make your house sparkle.
“Buyers today want their homes to look like the ones on HGTV,” says Gretchen Rosenberg, president and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “The closer you can mimic those homes, the better shot you have of selling quickly for a good price.” Adds Rich Petrone, broker and owner of HomeMark Group Realty: “Even in a good market, the house needs to be presentable. A buyer will pay top-dollar for a nice house but it has to be extremely nice to get that multiple-offer situation.”

Fix things.
“Take the time upfront to identify and take care of ‘handyman’ items on your list,” says Courtney Ranson, broker with Perry & Co. “Start tackling them one by one so they don’t feel overwhelming.”

“Everyone assumes you should declutter the major rooms—which is true!—but it is also important to declutter your drawers, closets, and garage,” says Ranson. “You’d be shocked how many potential buyers look in all those places!”

Consider staging.
“I stage every listing in some way,” says Ranson. “Whether it is using pieces that the homeowner already has or bringing in a professional to stage the full house, it really helps people connect with the space.”

Listen to your broker on price.
“Price your home based on market history,” says Bob Bell of Mile Hi Property. “Ask for detailed, adjusted comparables from your neighborhood. You cannot misprice your home and expect good results.”

Look ahead.
“Know how the appraiser and home inspector may affect your ultimate bottom line regardless of your contract price,” says Bell.

Remodel or Scrape?

For a Remodel…

Look at character.
“Ask yourself, does the current home have details you’d like to keep or add onto?” says Gilda Zaragoza, founder and managing broker of Invalesco Real Estate. “Can you adjust it to fit your needs?”

Be honest about condition.
“Some items are too costly to repair, like the foundation,” says Zaragoza. “Your general contractor and a good inspector can help you identify red flags.”

Consider time.
“A scrape will take more time,” says Zaragoza. “There are many more steps and the permitting process is months longer. But a remodel can bring a lot more headaches. With the right team, a new build can be more predictable.”

For a Scrape…

Think area.
“Is it prime for a new build? You don’t want to be the only new home there for 20 years,” says Zaragoza.

Know your builder.
“If a builder has not already done a decent amount of ground-up construction, I wouldn’t hire him,” says Jay Feaster of Feaster Realty. “They won’t know the process well enough, and time is money.”

Either way…think budget.
“All-new construction tends to be a little more expensive, but it’s fairly easy to budget,” says Feaster. “When remodeling, you have to effectively diminish your home’s value when you demo before you know what you’re dealing with.” Adds Dave Jackson of Jackson Design Build: “Homeowners often have a distorted sense of the time, money, and effort it takes to be profitable in redeveloping real estate.”

Get multiple bids.
“Then you’re confident what each option will cost. A firm budget can help you make a better decision in the scrape-vs.-remodel question,” says Feaster.