The incredible real estate boom in the Denver metro has made it difficult for first-time buyers on a budget, among many other home hunters. But it was a boon for salespeople like a Parker couple, who agreed to share their own whirlwind experience in detail.
The couple, Mark and Tara, bought their house just three years ago for $ 355,000. After the house has been on the market for the last few months, the price has risen so rapidly, and surprisingly, that Mark has lost not one, but two friendly bets with Tara on where he would like – which happened. turned out to be well above half. one million dollars.
“It was amazing – just unreal how this process turned out for us,” says Mark.
In 2018, Mark and Tara (they asked us to omit their last name, along with any photos of the actual house and its address) saw the $ 355,000 price tag on a location in Parker as a bargain. . “It took a bit of work,” admits Mark. “It was a rental house; the previous owner had rented it for about five years. So there was wear and tear. Nothing structural; it was not really a redevelopment. shot, the price was reasonable for the neighborhood we bought it in. ”
He describes the decision to sell the house three years later as “a spur of the moment based on market conditions. At the end of January, we contacted the real estate agent who had helped us buy it, and he suggested that we do a few things to spruce it up before we put it on the market. ”
In total, Mark and Tara invested around $ 10,000 to repaint the interior and install new rugs. When the job was done, they got together with the real estate agent to figure out how much to ask.
“We assessed the market,” recalls Mark. “We did comparisons across the region based on square footage, dollar amounts, general condition. Basically we did a market analysis and we priced at the top of what houses like ours were looking for. We weren’t trying to set a record, but we didn’t want to put ourselves down either. Basically, we went to the 85th percentile. ”
Yet when their real estate agent suggested the ideal price was $ 415,000, Mark admits that “I was a little worried. I said, “Are we sure? He said, “Relax. We’re going to do just fine. We’re going to get more than the list price.” And I said, ‘Okay.’ ”
Tara was more confident. She bet Mark on new shoes that the final bid would be over $ 430,000.
Together, Mark, Tara and the real estate agent set a date for the sale of Wednesday, March 31 – a time when concerns about COVID-19 were still in the foreground. To allay fears, they established a set of security protocols. The weekend open day would only last 48 hours and everything would be scheduled: no visits. Visitors should use masks and gloves, and surfaces would be disinfected between each visit and after all visits are over. Moreover, Mark and Tara would not be present; they made arrangements to take their RV to New Mexico during the open house.
The demand was crazy from the jump. Within thirty minutes of the house appearing on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, for the metro area, “We received an offer from an institutional buyer in California,” recalls Mark. “They offered us $ 460,000 in cash if we didn’t put them on the market or do the open house.”
They were tempted, but the real estate agent encouraged them to be patient, and they agreed to go ahead with the open house. In the meantime, Tara already knew she had a new pair of shoes.
At first, the real estate agent planned to schedule visits to the house at thirty-minute intervals, but that period of time eventually shrank to just ten minutes. In the end, there were 83 dates over two days, with some potential buyers on their own, some with a spouse or loved one.
From New Mexico, Mark and Tara were able to monitor what was going on. “In the first hour, we were getting bids in the order of $ 450,000. Saturday at noon, we had an offer of $ 472,000, and Tara said to herself:” We’re going to get over $ 480,000. . “And I said, ‘If we get more than $ 480,000, I’ll buy you a new car.'”
Shortly after, he remembers: “The real estate agent called and asked, ‘What type of car are you buying? Because I just got an offer that will satisfy that number of $ 480,000. And then he started laughing hysterically. ”
The fun increased in the evening, when an offer of $ 520,000 came in – and it came with some of the concessions Mark and Tara wanted.
“I think one of the most important factors for us is that we don’t want to be trapped in the inspection process,” says Mark. “We didn’t want someone to come with a large number but then start nitpicking us for every penny to try and get some of the money back. So we wanted them to give up some of their inspection rights. If it was a health issue and a safety issue like a new oven that was one thing. But if a doorknob was a little sticky we wanted them to have a new doorknob. door. And we were also interested in buyers who would come to us with a limited inspection requirement, given that most people were bidding on the appraised value of the house. There was no way it would be estimated. over $ 500,000, so that was taken into consideration. And for a few of them, we asked for conversations with their lenders to confirm the validity of the fund – that they had funds to fill the gaps. deficiencies if the inspection failed. ”
Eighteen bids in total were made on the house, all on top of the list, but the $ 520,000 bid turned out to be “a slam dunk,” says Mark. The deal was closed on April 15, just over two weeks after the house was listed, which generated a windfall (after that additional investment of $ 10,000) of $ 155,000.
Soon after, Mark and Tara started buying a new car.