Could Your Cat Ruin Your Listing? [Boulder Notable Sales]


In this week's notable sales, I review recent sales in several Boulder neighborhoods including Table Mesa, Carolyn Heights, Keewaydin, and Eldorado Springs. The purpose of these posts is to help educate you on market conditions and tell you a little about the stories behind the listings.  

Here's a little video intro: 






For private showings and discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. My goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.




Sold Listings of Note 



2140 Linden Ave | $2.5M | Pics and Details
Why would a buyer pay $2.5M for a large lot in this location? At first glance, the 0.79 acre lot and mid 60's home begging to be scraped is nothing special. But a closer analysis shows the comps support the initial investment and follow-on capital.

3775 23rd Street sold for $2.0M last summer after only 6 days on market. That dilapidated ranch was on septic and the lot size was 12.5% smaller. 

2215 Linden sold for $2.5M off market a few months earlier, another worn out ranch on a similar size lot. 

And to prove the follow-on capital is protected, 3660 19th Street sold this spring for $4.5M. Although constructed in 1995, this substantial luxury home was thoroughly renovated by Smiley. 

A $2M construction budget for 2140 Linden Ave should be a relatively safe investment, especially if the design maximizes the potential of the view. By the way, if your agent doesn't support your buying process with data analysis, find one who has the chops. Intelligent real estate decisions require a deep understanding of market conditions. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 



2338 La Mesa Drive | $1.8M | Pics and Details
Last winter we represented buyers on a spectacular property, just around the corner. Our client's home is 3X larger, on a 50% larger lot, and backs to the creek and open space. In addition to offering dream home potential, their investment thesis was built on the same reasoning as the back of the envelope analysis for 2140 Linden (above). At the time, I felt we negotiated an excellent deal (12.3% below asking) on the largest home in the county defined neighborhood on a premium lot. This transaction backs it up and supports the remodeling currently underway. 2338 La Mesa was on the market for just five days before a buyer snapped it up, full asking. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 




1347 Scrub Oak Cir| $1.15M | Pics and Details

Pretend you're my client and let's say it all together: "What's wrong with the house, Osman?". 

That's the reaction of every buyer who I took into this home (and every listing that has been sitting on the market for months). 

Problems: Although it was a custom home, the main living area and kitchen lacked openness and flow, fixable by removing a wall and renovating the kitchen. Another problem was that the seller re-purposed the master bedroom as a family room/den and their discount broker listing agent never advised them to stage the house properly. Also fixable. The curved frontage was problematic for future potential, but...tolerable. The final nail in the coffin was the fact they priced it absurdly high at $1.49M and then proceeded to chase the market with price drops. Nothing says highly desirable like repeated price cuts, right? 

We took several buyers to see this house and it did a great job of illustrating the value of what our clients eventually ended up buying. 1347 Scrub Oak sold last week for $1.15, 11.2% below the last asking price.  

Take home lesson: Price it right and market it professionally with an experienced, high performing agent if you want to maximize the sale price and/or minimize time on market. House inventory was +35% in the City of Boulder last month, while sales slid 26.3% (YoY). Mr. Market is unforgiving.  

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 



2750 Juilliard Street| $1.1M | Pics and Details
We took several buyers to see this house in the short period it was available. Although it was funky, it was also a compelling remodel. The main living area on the upper level was open and spacious, with views over the surrounding neighbors. The large lot and patio with a view at the top were a nice bonus. The only obvious issue was the absurdly steep driveway. We almost slipped walking down it on a rainy day and had to tread along the landscaping to avoid a tumble. The new owner would be well advised to install a heated driveway in the near future. 

2750 Juilliard was initially priced at $1.2M and two weeks later, the seller cut the price to $1.1M. It sold for full asking. 

By the way, I have a potential new listing which is a similar bi-level design, extensively remodeled by the home owner. It's larger than 2750 Juilliard, gorgeous and for the right price, available for sale. It also wasn't remodeled as a flip. All the work was carefully done for the owner with premium finishes and high quality construction methods. We may begin marketing it selectively this autumn. Our client is still deciding. Call me if you're in the market. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 




2360 Dartmouth Ave | $900K | Pics and Details
Two words: Cat. Pee.

An interior with mild updates was the only real selling point on this tri-level in Table Mesa - not enough to overcome the horrendous odor of cat urine. It was also clear that the seller had installed new inexpensive flooring over the cat pee without neutralizing it first. Yuck. 

Cat pee is a fixable issue, of course. It requires replacing flooring including sections of the subfloor. Listing it without having done this work was tantamount to throwing cash down the money hole. Installing flooring over the cat pee in the subfloor was additional stupidity. $900K was about right. It could have fetched $930K to $950K if the cat pee issue was properly addressed before listing it. Maybe more. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 




5497 Blackhawk | $728K | Pics and Details
We took our buyers to see this four level in Keewaydin Meadows multiple times before submitting an offer. The house clearly had issues, including a wonky beam over the garage door and a massive rotted deck in the back. From a cosmetic perspective, the house wasn't pretty but the bones were solid. It was the right kind of project house for our clients

Our offer was $700,000 with the deck "as is" and a commitment to not submit an inspection objection for cosmetic issues. 

The listing agent said to expect a counter. We expected a counter. 

It didn't happen. 

The listing agent spoke too soon. Her seller decided the offer wasn't worth countering. Maybe they thought we would try again. We didn't. Oops.

It always shocks me when we're told a serious offer is "too far apart" to be worthy of a response. Had the sellers offered a counter-proposal, my buyer was willing to pay more than the final sale price and saved the sellers another month on market. 

Take home lesson: After months on market, take every offer seriously. Counter. Silence is not a great negotiation tactic. "Sending a message" doesn't make the buyer want the house more. 

p.s. It all worked out in the end. My buyers acquired a much better house with a substantially larger lot, one that needed less work, and in a better, far less busy location. We just celebrated with a closing dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.



For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

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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. 

Cover image: Jae Park
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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.