Hope is Not a Strategy

by Osman Parvez
Last night, Boulder celebrated Independence Day. Leah and I hiked up to Kohler Mesa at sunset, and as night fell we had a killer view of the dazzling display over Folsom Field. We could also see fireworks from Louisville and Longmont. It was a beautiful evening.

For the real estate market, Independence Day marks an important milestone in a seasonal cycle. For a number of reasons, most buyers and sellers want to complete real estate transactions during summer and the sale process (with a conventional mortgage) typically takes 30-45 days. This has dramatic implications. 

Advice to Sellers 
Now is the time for your Realtor to (a) revisit their analysis of market conditions specific to your property and (b) evaluate and potentially re-position the home in the competitive market. This means a deep dive into analyzing sold, pending, and active competitors. It also means a fresh look at marketing strategy, which includes staging, maintenance, photography, social and traditional media campaigns, buyer agent feedback, and of course - pricing. If your Realtor offer to do these things, find one who does.

Do it now or risk blowing the summer selling season.

Advice to Buyers
Limited selection is a challenge unlikely to get better during the next 6-8 months. Inventory usually begins dropping by the middle of June. As of this writing, inventory for houses in Boulder is already 9% below the peak of the year. If you've been waiting on the sidelines for more inventory, you will almost certainly be waiting until next year. 

Remember: hope is not a strategy.

Now is the time to take a fresh look at older listings, perhaps slightly above your target price range, perhaps slightly outside your sweet spot in terms of location and other characteristics. Serious sellers, with 60+ days on market, will be contemplating price reductions. To reduce the risk of competition, it's better to offer low before the coming price reduction occurs. 

Your Realtor should have already set you up with instant listing alerts. Be sure these alerts are based on a map, not on city (Boulder has islands of unincorporated county property within city limits). Keep seeing new listings (within 24 hours of hitting the market), but ask your Realtor to re-send you older listings that may be good candidates. You might find a diamond in the rough.   

The best Buyer's agents will offer to sit down with you and conduct a work session. This is an opportunity to review and discuss listings in real-time, review their merits, and consider whether their seller might accept a lower offer. It's also a good opportunity to discuss negotiation strategies that beat the competition.  If your agent doesn't do these things, find one who does.

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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

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.