Denver area realtors share lessons from volatile 2022 market – The Denver Post


The pandemic and its aftershocks created an incredibly competitive housing market in the Denver area, pushing home prices to record highs.

With multiple buyers and a limited number of homes available, the first half of the year brought a buying frenzy with prospective home buyers waiving inspections and offering up to $100,000 over the list price.

“The biggest takeaway despite all the ups and downs in 2022 is that the Denver market is healthy,” says Nick DiPasquale with West+Main.

Home prices skyrocketed in the year’s first half, but even as rising interest rates helped temper some of that demand, home prices remained strong the last few months of the year.

“We can feel grateful. This is still an attractive destination where people want to live.”

Managing buyer expectations

During the first half of the year, some buyers became too focused on the chase, says Kelly Hudson with Compass-Denver.

“Some buyers needed help not to get swept up in the frenzy” of early 2022, she says.

“Agents needed to remind people why this neighborhood or this floorplan was important to them. We needed to remind them of their values, their criteria for buying and their family needs rather than focus on the competition of getting in the offer.”

Riding the roller coaster

As rising interest rates started to cool prices and keep homes on the market longer, agents had to work to manage sellers’ expectations.

Natalie Hengel with 8z says she worked with her clients to keep them focused on presenting their homes in the best light rather than obsessing about the sale price of neighboring properties in previous months.

“It was challenging with an evolving market. It’s our job as real estate agents to adapt and figure it out. We need always to be ready to chart a new course of action.”

For the first six months of 2022, homes went under contract after the first weekend, and sellers didn’t need to make concessions.

In the year’s second half, increased interest rates posed more challenges to prospective buyers. That kept homes on the market longer, and prices started to flatten.

That made marketing even more critical, Hengel says.

“You needed to set the price right and present a pristine, vanilla product,” she says. “You need to make your home neutral so buyers can step in and picture their lives in that place.

Getting back to basics

As inflation and interest rates level off, buyers should continue to gain more power.

“I’ve worked in real estate for 30+ years and seen every kind of market,” says Realtor Barry Willmarth. “Buyers drive the market period.”

Setting home prices during 2022 was challenging, and many previous pricing methods no longer applied when buyers were bidding up to $100,000 over the list price.

“The bottom line for 2022, everything was fluid,” Willmarth says. “We saw changes week to week.”

And that volatile market made it critical to hire a real estate agent you trust, DiPasquale says.


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