Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Does the current red-hot nature of the Denver housing market affect negotiations?  Of course.

In a market where sellers are routinely seeing multiple offers, buyers need to bring their highest and best offer upfront.  No more lowballing, hoping to go back and forth for a few days before arriving at a middle ground.  That’s so 2011.

The new model works like this:  a home comes on the market, six buyers see it, three write offers.  One lowballs, one comes in near list price, and one comes in over list price.  Instead of negotiating with all three, the sellers quickly discuss qualifications with their agent.  Who’s got the largest downpayment?  Who has a reputable lender?  Does the agent on the other side actually close deals?  If it’s the buyer with the highest offer, the game is over right there.

Why not spark bidding wars?  Sometimes they happen.  But good agents know one of the primary challenges in this market is actually getting listings to appraise for what buyers are offering.  That’s because appraisals look backwards, and things are changing so rapidly in this market it’s hard for appraisers to keep up.  If the comparable sales are from November, January and March, chances are the older sales are going to be for less, because they were sold in a different type of market.

That’s not to say you can’t get a great deal.  It’s just going to take longer, and you’re going to need to be more patient.  Lots more patient. 

If you want to actually buy a house in a reasonable period of time, you’re going to have to change your thinking. 

That means you come in hard with your best offer quickly, and make it easy for the seller to say yes.  Does that sound different than what you’ve heard for the past five years?  Absolutely.  Because this
market is absolutely different from any we’ve seen in the past six or seven years. 

Today’s successful buyers are now playing to win, instead of playing not to lose.