Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - January 1-15, 2011

Modest improvement ... deals but no steals ... new companies sniffing around the Boulder-Longmont-Broomfield corridor ... those are the words on the street.  "Colorado is expected to add 10,100 jobs in 2011, with most sectors showing some growth," according to economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado.  Most area experts think that Colorado's economy will track with the national economy and show slow, steady growth over the next year.

The holidays are always a slow time for home sales, and this year was no exception.  But there is some pent up demand and we are seeing that start to trickle into 2011. 

Approximately every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks. Hopefully our analysis will help reveal what properties are selling, at what prices, how long they are are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area - Boulder County and Broomfield County.

For the two week period from January 1 through January 15, 2011 here are the numbers:

•85 properties sold (compared to 96 for same period in 2009)
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $43,000 - $2,109,000
•Median price: $300,000
•Average price: $420,907
•$0-199k = 22 sold this period
•$200-299K = 19 sold
•$300-399k = 14 sold
•$400-499k = 8 sold
•$500-599k = 6 sold
•$600-699k = 4 sold
•$700-799k = 4 sold
•$800-899k = 2 sold
•$900-999k = 0 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 5 sold (none sold during this same period 2010)
•$2.0M+ = 1 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

It never ceases to amaze me that each period's Top Ten numbers reveal an obvious trend or relevant market statistic.  This period the disappointing news is that our area is definitely seeing negative appreciation in the upper price brackets.

All but one of the homes in this period's list sold for over 80% of their original asking price, which in this market actually isn't that bad for these upper bracket price categories.  The home on Old Tale sold for an embarrassing 50% of the original asking price, and it took over 700 days to do it!  My guess is that if this had been priced in the $1.8-2.2M range it would have sold quicker, and the owners would not have left so much money on the table.  Someone really missed the mark on that one!

But the real story here is the negative appreciation.  Six of the ten homes on the list sold for less this month than they did in previous years from 2003 to 2007.  That time period was our boom, when buyers were scrambling to find good properties, willing to pay anything, and realtors were just taking orders.  We live in a "new normal" now as one of our associates said to me the other day.  Homeowners can't assume that their housing is going to be a big money-making investment, and realtors need to provide more analysis and be willing to turn down a listing opportunity if the seller can't be realistic about the pricing.

The takeaways here for me are the following:
  • If you know you will be somewhere for the long haul, then buy what you want, where you want.  But if there is a chance your plans could change in 5 years or less, avoid the higher price points and buy something that would be more widely appealing and attainable to a larger population of buyers.
  • Also, if you have a home priced over $700,000 you can expect the market to continue to be quite slow for a while and/or you may not recoup your original purchase price in today's market. Some folks might even have to wait until 2014 for that.
  • There is still a market for homes over $1M, especially in the $1-1.5M range, so if you can price your luxury home in that zone you might do well!
Finally, some shameless plugs for our company ... Colorado Landmark, Realtors represented buyers and sellers on 4 sides of the above 10 transactions (or 20 sides total) and we were the only company to participate in more than one transaction on this list.  Also, kudos to Colorado Landmark broker associate Michelle Clifford for selling her listing at 6487 Cherry St.  She priced it well and it sold for 86% of the original asking price, not bad for a property over $2M, and it sold in a year, which is to be expected for a property of this caliber and price point.  Congratulations Michelle!

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Open House Tips for Sellers

An open house is a great way to showcase your home, and an opportunity for many people to view your home at once.

Here are some tips to get your home "open house ready":

Curb Appeal is Key: The first thing a prospective buyer notices about a home is the front yard. Cut the grass, trim the hedges, rake those leaves, sweep the sidewalks, and power-wash the driveway. If appropriate for the season, include a few potted flowers to brighten up the entryway.

De-Clutter: A cluttered room can appear too small to buyers. Go through each room and divide belongings into two piles: “keep” and “give up.” Items in the “keep” pile will be used to stage the room, while those in the “give up” pile should be stored elsewhere, or better yet given away. You are not selling your things or trying to impress anyone with them. You are selling your space and buyers can’t visualize themselves or their own things there when there is too much of your stuff in the room. Don’t forget about the outdoor spaces too – de-clutter potted plants, kids’ toys, gardening items, outdoor furniture and accessories, etc…as well.

Make your place “Q-Tip clean.” A properly staged home should be immaculate, or “Q-Tip clean,” This could mean using Q-Tips to clean dead flies out of a windowsill or going around the bottom of the toilet on the floor. The purpose of an immaculate house is more than just making it presentable. If a home is messy or dirty, a buyer may wonder what else about this property hasn’t been cared for, like major and minor maintenance items.

Check the temperature. In winter a warm home is always more inviting than one that has people reaching for their coats. On a hot summer day a cool home can be a welcome oasis to weary home buyers. In warmer weather have windows open for fresh air if it’s not hot outside.

Light it up. Open blinds and window coverings, and turn on all the lights. This helps make the spaces feel bigger, and specially placed lighting can showcase special aspects of the home. It may also be appropriate to have fireplaces and candles lit to create a cozy environment.

Say “Yes” to neighbors. Some sellers are against holding open houses as they can be a magnet for “nosy neighbors”. While this may be the case at times, your neighbors are also a great resource to help get your home sold. Make them feel welcome by letting them know ahead of time that the open house is scheduled, and invite them to come check it out. The more eyes that see your house, the better.

For additional information and resources to help get your home sold quickly, feel free to contact us - we are here to help!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377

Check out our 356 Things to do in Boulder Page!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Freeze warning tonight - is your house ready?

We wondered if it was going to happen - but finally, we are seeing some real Colorado winter weather. And with the beautiful snow that has been falling comes some FREEZING cold temperatures. Unfortunately, this can lead to frozen pipes and damage to your home.

When the temperature drops, water freezes and expands. Water pipes do not expand causing broken pipes and possible flooding that can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage.

Here are some extra precautions you can take today to prevent frozen pipes tonight:
  • Set the thermostat in all areas no lower than 60 degrees.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
  • Turn on a trickle of water in any areas that you are concerned about, especially any faucets near outside walls. Let the warm water drip overnight.
  • For future protection, considering adding insulation around pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic if possible.
If you do suspect a frozen pipe, dont risk it -shut off the main water supply and call a plumber!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377