The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
If you’re thinking about selling your house in Denver, you’re going to want to get moving quickly. While the Mile High City has been a strong seller’s market throughout the pandemic, buyers are getting more bargaining power now as the hot housing market cools down. In fact, real estate company Knock predicts that the Denver metro area will favor buyers by the summer of 2023.
While that info might be worrisome for sellers, Denver is a highly desirable place to buy a house in Colorado, and one of the top markets in the country. There still isn’t enough housing inventory to keep pace with demand, as more people look for the chance to live so close to the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Read on for everything you need to know to maximize your profit in a changing market.
Selling your house fast
While it used to be easy to sell a house fast in Denver, the timeline is looking longer these days. In January 2023, homes in Denver spent a median 48 days on the market before selling, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) — a massive increase from the 17 days it took in January 2022. Further away from the city center, the wait can look even longer: The typical number of days on market for homes in Douglas County was 57.
If you don’t have that kind of time, consider these routes to a sale that can feel like speeding down a mountain:
- Find an iBuyer: While iBuyers have slowed their activity in much of the U.S., the two biggest names in the business, Offerpad and Opendoor, are still actively purchasing homes in Denver. The “i” in iBuying stands for instant: These offers are typically made in 24 hours or less. Just be aware that iBuyer offers will likely be less (in some cases, a lot less) than a traditional offer.
- Sell for cash: Companies that buy houses for cash are still snapping up homes in Denver as well, like We Buy Houses, the Buy-Out Company and Blue Halo Homes. When a home is paid for in cash, there’s no need for formal underwriting of a mortgage, which saves a lot of time.
- Work with a local agent: An experienced seller’s agent can help you carve out a strategy for a speedy sale. Local real estate agents know their markets well, and they will make sure your listing appears in all the right places. From choosing the proper price to attracting the most qualified buyers, a good real estate agent can be your most valuable asset if you’re trying to sell quickly. Plus, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, the typical For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing in the U.S. sells for around $100,000 less than agent-assisted sales.
- Be flexible: The most important rule in getting to a faster sale right now is being willing to bargain. While you might have heard stories of homes in Denver getting multiple offers and selling for way above list price, those days are over. Consider every offer, and be prepared to provide seller concessions if asked. Data from Redfin shows that more than 58 percent of sellers in Denver offered concessions to buyers at the end of 2022.
How to sell your house in Denver
There are plenty of nuances to figuring out the best way to sell a house in Denver — here are more things to consider.
How much will selling cost?
It takes money to make money — and selling a house isn’t free. The costs to sell your house will vary, depending on the approach you take. With real estate agents involved, you’ll be handing over around 6 percent of the purchase price to cover commission fees (unless you manage to negotiate a lower fee). Even with an iBuyer, you might still be paying hefty service fees.
There are other closing costs for sellers in Colorado, too. For example, sellers typically pick up the tab for title insurance here. On a $500,000 home, you’re probably looking at around $1,575 for a policy. In addition, while the state does not require you to hire a lawyer to oversee the transaction, doing so anyway is a smart move. Real estate is a complex business, so paying for a real estate attorney ensures sure you’re protected in the deal.
What’s the local market like?
The Denver metro area is big, so it’s important to think about what the market looks like in your specific part of town. For example, the median sale price in Denver County is $590,000, according to CAR, while the median in Douglas County is $680,000. It’s important to work with a real estate agent who will walk you through a thorough comparative market analysis for your immediate area. Translation: If you live in Arvada, you don’t need to focus on how much homes are selling for in Lone Tree.
Are you trying to buy another house at the same time?
If you’re selling the roof over your head, you’re going to need to figure out where you’re heading next. Buying a house while selling a house at the same time can be complex. You’ll need to give careful consideration to your timeline and determine if you want to add some additional provisions to the contract, such as a rent-back agreement that gives you some extra time to move out. Your agent can help you work out the details.
Prepping your home for sale
When you’re ready to move forward, follow these three steps for a smooth sale.
- Find a real estate agent: All agents are not created equal. To find the right one for you, interview a few different candidates to get a sense of their marketing strategy, their thoughts on your home’s market value and their plans for pivoting if the sale takes longer than you’d like.
- Figure out what to fix: If you were the buyer, would you be turned off by any issues in your home? For example, is the paint chipping in the living room, or does the shower drip constantly? Work with your agent to get their expert opinion on what’s worth fixing. It may also be smart to explore easy ways to increase your property value, and be sure to ask your agent about whether staging would help, too.
- Price it competitively: Estimating how much your house is worth can be tricky, but your real estate agent will help you land on the right number. Be mindful of the fact that, while over-ask bids were a regular occurrence during the pandemic, Denver homes are now selling for around 2 percent less than their asking price, according to CAR.
Should I sell my house fast?
If you’re in a rush to relocate, selling your house fast can help you avoid having to pay two mortgages. And if you’re in the midst of a major life shake-up, such as a divorce, selling fast can help reduce family friction.
However, if you’re hoping for maximum profit, patience can be key. Perhaps you can work to time your listing with late spring or summer — typically a time period when more buyers are looking and homes spend significantly fewer days on the market. For reference, homes in Denver spent just nine days on the market in June of 2022.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, your work isn’t done just yet. Before you can get to the closing table, you’ll have to do some paperwork. There’s the Colorado seller’s property disclosure form to complete, filling the buyer in on any defects they should know about. If your house is part of a homeowners association, be sure to request copies of past meeting minutes of the board and governance bylaws, too, as a buyer will want to review this information as well. You’ll also have to get the home in good shape for the buyer’s final walk-through. Once everything is settled, you’ll be ready to hand over the keys to your Denver home.
The fastest way to sell your Denver home is probably through an iBuyer. Opendoor and Offerpad are both still purchasing homes in the Denver metro area, and the companies operate on a model that will give you an almost-instant offer with the ability to close quickly — possibly within a matter of days.
While home prices may not be soaring as high as they used to, it’s still a pretty good time to sell a house in Denver. There is simply not enough housing supply to meet buyer demand: According to figures from the Colorado Association of Realtors, there was only about one month’s worth of housing supply in the city in January. Such conditions greatly favor sellers.
Working with an experienced local real estate agent is the best route for your bottom line. It’s an agent’s job to know the best strategies to sell your home for top dollar. While you’ll need to pay a commission fee, the cost is typically well worth it: Across the country, agent-assisted sales net an average of $105,000 more than For Sale By Owner home listings.