Keeping Calm in a Frantic Market

Bruce Homes Colorado helps families navigate the choppy seas of buying and selling a home.

Article by Linda Bolander

Photography by Tim Seibert - Flatirons Pro Media

Originally published in Broomfield Lifestyle

Owning a home is the cornerstone of the American Dream. Most families feel that homeownership is the core of their security. Unlike renting, ownership gives us the freedom to decorate and give it our own touches; it becomes a safe space that we created ourselves.

But these days the market is hair-trigger and prices rise every day. So you need someone on your side who can make the buying and selling experience at least survivable and maybe even a little fun. Enter Mike Bruce, team leader of Bruce Homes Colorado with Keller Williams Realty Downtown.

“It’s a crazy market out there. You need someone who can figure out what’s going on behind the scenes. They should get inside info, like how many showings a home has had, how much competition there is for a property, and ask about offers in hand. Someone to read between the lines and coach clients,” he says.

But don’t you just need someone with a real estate license who can fill in the blanks on a form? Mike explains why that’s not a good move—for a buyer or a seller.

Mike says when dealing with your largest financial asset, negotiations with the other party requires the skills of a trained professional. "It's more than throwing numbers around hoping to get an offer accepted. Whether buying or selling, you need to make sure your agent has your best interests in mind. Offering over asking price has risks for both parties and it's important to ensure you are not caught off guard while under contract.”

Right now, the average property is about $650,000. As a result, people are underpricing their listings to start the “feeding frenzy.” To know how to make an offer, a buyer needs a good market analysis by an experienced agent.

For example, the Smiths, a family of four, want to list their house and buy a new one with more space. They prepare it for sale, get repairs and the right upgrades done, get photos, and price it strategically. They get all their documents—like W2s, bank statements, etc.—for potential lenders. Because their agent helps them keep everything in order and on time, they get a commitment from a lender.

The Smiths are under contract in two weeks, and the moving parts suddenly start moving a lot faster. They look at new homes, some of them virtually because time is tight, and choose one. But their agent knows that the first offer is not accepted most of the time. So they keep looking while they wait.

Their offer is turned down, but their second one is accepted. Their agent has kept all the timelines organized, and they will be able to move without staying in a hotel.

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”

This Mark Twain quote illuminates another driving factor in Denver’s real estate chaos—investors. They buy older homes in the Denver area, swing the wrecking ball, then build an income property worth much more. This could very well happen in older areas of our northern suburbs at some point.

This means the halcyon days of the fix-n-flip are gone in Denver. Still, it also makes it difficult for the family to get some “sweat equity” out of a property. Mike and other experienced realtors guide buyers away from these properties to avoid competition with the big investors.  

The Marshall Fire

This devastating disaster has put around 1,000 families out on the streets. They are now part of the competition for local homes and are also competing for building materials.

In addition to helping these families look for new homes, Mike has been helping connect them with property managers and short-term rentals, helping them find furniture, flooring, and more. He’s also finding good disaster mitigation experts and builders for repairs.

Need another reason to hire an experienced agent? Mike is on the Board of Directors for the Denver Metro Association of Realtors and is a liaison for Builder Realty Council. With those kinds of connections, he will have up-to-the-minute information on all your real estate needs.

In this market, things are changing every day. Houses are appearing and going under contract the same day. That's why it's so important to be working with a real estate team. Everyone on the Bruce Homes Team was born and raised in Colorado. They know more than just the town and region–they know the neighborhoods, favorite restaurants, local activities, and have excellent relationships with other agents. 

Call the Mike Bruce Homes Team today and see how you can either get into home ownership or get into a property that meets your needs better. The way the market is only going to get crazier, there is no better time than now. 

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