Sales Volume Spikes in Boulder [Annual Review]

by Osman Parvez
Boulder real estate sales spiked during 2013.   Let's take a look at the numbers.

804 condos and town homes sold during the year, a 32% increase from 2012.   755 detached houses sold, a more modest 12% increase.   Together, sales volume increased 21% in the city of Boulder. 

On a dollar volume basis, $901.3MM sold in 2013 representing a 30% annual increase.   Condos and town homes comprised $265.2MM, up 44% from 2012. Houses worth $636.1MM sold during the year, up 25%.  

Osman's Thoughts
Who is advising you?
Numbers don't lie, sales and dollar volume were up massively in 2013. What you can't see is the chaos in the marketplace and the shoddy, incompetent representation.  

I saw many instances of sellers who left money on the table last year because their agent bungled the marketing and negotiation strategy. Prematurely pulling the asset from a competitive bidding environment is sheer idiocy.   This is what happens when a property is listed and goes under contract within 48 hours.   Many potential buyers won't even get an chance to see it. 

Under pressure to submit offers quickly, I also saw situations where people overbid, got a wicked case of buyer's remorse, and later terminated the contract.  This tainted the listing and frankly, damaged reputations.    Not good for the seller or the listing agent.  Not good for the buyer's agent the next time they submit an offer.   
It’s no secret that negotiations are more fruitful when parties freely share information about their interests and goals. But that requires trust, which may be in short supply at the bargaining table. 
- "In Global Negotiations, It's All About Trust"  Gunia,  et al.   Harvard Business Review, December 2012
In this market - the right way to do things is to structure the listing period to allow buyers to see the property not once, but at least twice before submitting offers.  This reduces the likelihood of buyer's remorse while retaining the energy of multiple offers.   Clearly communicating the timeline and how multiple offers will be managed is how a professional handles it.     

Strategy and Tactics Matter
For buyers, the goal is to get the best possible deal on their dream house. This means knowing the comps and having confidence about the deal.  For sellers, the goal is to obtain the highest possible price from a buyer who will actually close. 

The solution is choosing to be represented by a competent, highly skilled agent.  Both buyers and sellers need a savvy agent who understands local market conditions, has solid negotiation skills,  and will work aggressively on their behalf.  

The next time you're buying or selling real estate, consider shopping for agents before you do anything else.  My advice?  Interview several, ask tough questions, choose one and then forge ahead.    If you're in the market and would like to talk to me about representation, you can reach me at 303.746.6896.   I can help you make a smarter real estate decision. 

A Note About The Data
Datasets from IRES and Metrolist were combined to produce the charts above. Duplicates were removed - by hand.   It takes a lot time but for now, it's the only way to do it right.   Although the MLS has a "remove duplicates" function, it doesn't work well and leaves behind many.    

image:  smswigart, Tristan Martin

Like this analysis?    Subscribe to my research.       Want to meet me in person?    Attend a Boulder Real Estate Meetup.    Ready to buy or sell?  Call me at 303.746.6896.  

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.