Newsletter Intro and Analysis | November '23

The following was published in Fresh Listings, the House Einstein Newsletter for November 2023.  Analysis and discussion of active listings is only available to newsletter subscribers.  Learn more and subscribe HERE


I'd like to personally express my gratitude to the extended House Einstein community - including family, friends, colleagues, clients, and the many folks who have supported us over the years. We are so ever grateful. As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope you have an opportunity to connect with the people who matter in your life.

Missed Us?

It's been more than a few months since our last newsletter. 

As I've often written, clients will always come first at House Einstein, but the truth is I also needed a break from writing the newsletter. During this time, we put more attention into podcasting and publication of content on our socials. If you're interested in hearing more timely thoughts about the market and issues impacting the business of real estate, check out our podcast. You'll find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, and many other platforms. 

Going forward, the Fresh Listings newsletter is moving to a monthly publication schedule. It's more sustainable, especially during periods of peak activity like helping buyers and sellers in the spring and summer.  

Thank you for your patience. Thanks for hanging in there. On with the show... 

The NAR Commissions Lawsuit

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard that the National Association and several brokerages lost a lawsuit related to real estate commissions. Appeals are underway, but nevertheless, there will likely be coming changes to how commissions are structured in the United States. The timing of the changes are uncertain. It could take six months, or it could take many years. Colorado has already implemented a number of changes in recent years.

Here’s my hot take on what the future holds:
  • Up to 50% of buy side agents will be out of the business within 24 months. Many of these were part-time and lifestyle agents. They were not adding much value to the transaction. I welcome their departure.
  • On average, commissions may drop by 20% or more. As always, there will be regional variations. To some extent, these will be replaced by up-front and hidden fees, some of which already exist and will now increase.  
  • Agents will need to do a better job of explaining their services and justifying their fees. 
  • We believe competition makes us stronger at House Einstein. We’ll continue to clearly communicate our value proposition, stay true to our principles, and maintain competitive pricing with other top agents. 
Buy Side Value Proposition 
  • Property Selection Process: We’re not just responsive to your request for showings but will communicate the pros and cons of each property based on our market knowledge and experience. 
  • Remote videography: For relocation buyers, we’ll provide a high-resolution, detailed video walkthrough of a home, pointing out its features as well as visible problems before asking you to hop on a plane.  
  • Expert Negotiation:  When it's time to write an offer, we will provide you with detailed and relevant comparable sales, market analysis, and support for tough negotiations. As always, we advise. You make the call. 
  • Due Diligence: Once you're under contract, we’ll support your due diligence by providing you with our honest opinions and references to honest inspectors and contractors. You will have our unwavering support for complete and thorough due diligence.  
  • After Closing: We’re still here for you, even years later. If you need to an analysis of your home’s value or a referral to a contractor, we’re happy to be your source for a network of local professionals we trust. 
Sell Side Value Proposition
  • Professional Photography and Videography. We utilize both in-house and external content creators for both photography and cutting edge videography. This is how we can best tell your home’s story and attract the right buyer. 
  • Extensive Distribution: Our marketing makes sure your home is seen. The latest benchmarking shows nearly 6x more potential buyers will see your listing than through the MLS alone.  
  • Market Intelligence: Throughout the life of the listing, we provide you with a detailed market analysis for pricing and continue to benchmark the competition so you’re aware of changing market conditions specific to your unique home.
  • Follow-up and Feedback: We follow up with agents for timely feedback on each and every showing of your listing so that you can get honest and useful information. We don’t believe in so-called “automated feedback.” The only way to obtain meaningful feedback is the old fashioned way - with a phone call.
  • Negotiation and Transaction Management: We guide you through the deal process, whether it’s a single offer or a bidding war, based on timeless and proven principles for effective negotiation.

How's The Market?

One of the most important things many fail to understand about real estate is its hyper-locality. From a big picture perspective, this is evident if you are to compare County vs City statistics in Boulder. Across the County, there were 17.4% more single family home listings this October than the previous year. In the City of Boulder (COB), there were 35.7% more houses for sale, more than double the increase.

Prices have fallen across the board. Last month, the median sale price for a single family house in the County was $354/SF - a drop of 10.1% from the peakIn the COB, the median sale price was $546/SF, a drop of 8.5% from the peak. Meanwhile, some sellers are still getting bidding wars, though this activity is rare. It only exists for certain price ranges, property types, and neighborhoods. It's also sometimes an indicator of intentional underpricing as a tactic for a fast sale. In some cases, it's sheer stupidity, often encouraged by an unethical and dishonest buyer's agent. 

Sales volume in the COB was surprisingly robust last month. 73 detached houses transacted, an increase of 19.7% Year over Year. Boulder County saw 235 transactions, an increase of 12.4% year over year.

Market segmentation and variance is not just city vs the county. Home type, updates, year of construction, neighborhood, and of course price range have a massive influence. Longmont is not Boulder, and Louisville and Lafayette also behave distinctly from each other. When it comes to understanding the market, the importance of local and property specific factors simply cannot be overstated. It varies right down to the street level. 

If you're a client, past or present, and you're thinking about selling your home - don't hesitate to reach out for an analysis of what's happening in the market for your potential listing. We're always happy to hear from you, and our priority remains to serve you, even years from when you last purchased or sold a home. 

If you're thinking about buying next year, my advice is to start looking now. Look, but don't necessarily buy. There are signals that the market may have bottomed, and the fourth quarter has always been when we're able to negotiate the best terms for our buyers. Across the Front Range and in all the markets that we serve, right now, you also have far, far more selection than in previous years. Just remember, you have another 30 days or so before optimism takes over and the seasonal pendulum swings the other way.  

The best way to reach me is to call. You can find me at 720.310.5007.

Osman Parvez  is the Founder and Employing Broker of House Einstein. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York, he lives in Boulder with his wife and their Labrador Retriever. He has been a Realtor since 2005.

Osman is the primary author of the House Einstein blog with over 1,200 published articles about Boulder real estate. His work has also appeared in many other blogs about Boulder as well as mainstream newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and Daily Camera. For more information, click HERE.

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Thinking about buying or selling and want professional advice?  Call us at 303.746.6896. Your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties. House Einstein strongly recommends 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.