Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Rocky Mountain Way?

For as much as I complain about the lack of positive statistics coming from realty associations, the Denver Association of Realtors has been providing an interesting angle in its tracking of local sales. Rather than simply reporting that home sales are up, down, or steady, the Association has been tracking the number of home sales against the number of homes currently on the market.

By doing so, the Association's most recent report reflects a trend over the past few months clearly showing that a higher percentage of available homes have been selling in the Denver area of late, and a growth of that trend over the past six months.

What makes this data significant is that if the Association did not provide this information, their graph showing the movement of local home sales would only show as being on the decline!

That there are comparably fewer properties on the market than months ago is understandable. With foreclosures and short sales taking up a significant percentage of reported home sales, prices continue to be too low for many long time home owners to be able to sell for a profit or a break even.

In addition, some of the properties currently on the market are still not advertised or marketed like they can or should be.

For a case in point, I went online as if searching for a 2 bedroom townhome in the $100,000 range in the Auroura 80014 zip code. Based on current local inventory, this is a comparably good value for the community it is in.

The first towhome that came up is on the market for exactly $100,000. I immediately reasoned that with this for an asking price, it has probably been on the market for a while. Sure enough, it was listed back in October, more than five months ago. How did I know? Because reducing the asking price even by a mere $50 would make it $99,950 - and give this unit the ability to be marketed as "townhome living in Aurora for under $100,000" or "five figures for two bedrooms", and so on.

Although the advertisement appearing on does have eleven photos, the problem is that the majority of them hurt the cause rather than help. The primary photo shows the corner of a building with a street sign blocking part of the view. It is even difficult to tell on first glance that the photo shows a residential unit. Obviously, not a good first impression, especially when the description claims this is a "ranch style" townhouse.

Four of the eleven photos are indistinguishable exterior photos, which give the unit the appearance of being very small when you can tell it is a residential unit. Another photo is a long shot of a bathroom, which is not especially impressive. Yet another photo shows the washer and dryer with clothes stacked on it.

The ad copy for this unit could just as well have said it has an in-unit washer and dryer. However, it certainly doesn't appear that the agent or writer of this ad put any thought into it. Consider that for "Fireplace Features" the copy says, and I quote, "In the living room".

So are you chomping at the bit to pursue this property?

I didn't think so. And a return to this search brought up four other listings within the same area, also priced at exactly $100,000.

This is pointing out how a larger percentage of listed inventory is selling, even if the number of sales is really down. The Association has brought out a positive that other realty associations and reporters do not. With a better effort to market the current inventory, the Denver market could be "higher" than a lot of other areas.

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