Boulder Real Estate Prices: Negotiating To Win

dsc_0068.JPGIf price is your only issue, always be ready to walk away. As far as I’m concerned if you’re buying Boulder real estate, that’s the bottom line if your purchase is only about getting the lowest price possible.

Now, on the other hand, if you’re buying a home to LIVE IN and the special nuances and features will affect your lifestyle that’s a different story. Admittedly, some people have moderated standards and so can easily identify 2 or 3 homes to buy and either one or the other will work. That’s the best of all negotiating situations. Then it’s easy to walk away from a deal you don’t like.

photo.jpgLet’s flex that scenario again: If you’re looking at property in our area and you think you want to live in West Boulder, Downtown, Newlands, Mapleton Hill, Dakota Ridge or some other similarly highly-sought-after neighborhood; take a deep breath and get ready to listen carefully to your Realtor.

1812_17th_st_204_mls_hid405613_roomkitchenlivingroom1.jpgWhat you think is reality about price, value or negotiating tactics may not apply. Buyers come up with all sorts of notions. One of them that really gets me is when I hear a buyer say that it’s just unreasonable for a seller to get ‘that much’ appreciation in ‘that amount of time’. What I’ve understood from this is that the buyer is analyzing the property’s value based on the appreciation rate and simply coming to a conclusion that since they, as a buyer, won’t spend that much they conclude that the home isn’t worth the asking price. Nonsense. When there are buyers right behind you that will pay what you won’t, you aren’t even in the game.

There’s a direct correlation between how much you, and other buyers, want a particular property (or location/neighborhood) and the price. It’s not about what’s ‘fair’. It has nothing to do with what you as a buyer consider ‘reasonable’ appreciation and it doesn’t have anything to do with how much you made on the sale of your home in another city.

These pocket locations, even within Boulder, are exceptions for the most part. Most of our area is not in the heated market days of the markets like late 1999 through 2001 where we constantly saw double digit appreciation each quarter or better. However, there’s this thing called ‘The Moat’ around Boulder. As we’re surrounded by unbuildable open space land and the location possibilities for new construction are going, going … gone the supply is no longer meeting the demand.

Consider the Newlands area and those immediately nearby, I looked at buying a fairly average 3 bedroom home just a block or two NW of North Boulder Park years ago. It was listed for $80,000. Now that same home would sell for about $600,000 or more without renovations and if recently remodeled to today’s standards would sell for somewhere close to say $900,000 to $1,000,000.

I had a client that had very specific wants and needs. We kept looking at homes around $400k then $500k and then $600k and up because they didn’t believe me when I told them that what they were asking me to show them would cost as much as it would. They wouldn’t listen so I politely showed them the ones that they chose to look at and we continued to discover that what their taste demanded was a price higher than they wanted to pay.

They lost the opportunity to buy two different homes that they had me write contract offers on for them. They were amazed to learn that they lost them because the seller got a full price offer. While they got caught up in their analysis paralysis trying to decide if the appreciation rate was fair for the seller, was better than what they got in their last home or what the believed to be what the market would bear as a price per square foot… the sellers got a better offer.

All I’m trying to get at is that buyers should listen to their agent. Communication between you and your Realtor is paramount. You hired him/her for a reason. Second guessing the advice and guidance you get from the professional you selected only wastes your time and may cost you the home you truly want. If you feel like you need something different, tell them right away.

Pick a professional you trust. A good method for this is get a referral from a trusted friend or family member. Ask for testimonials from his/her past clients. And when you get someone you can work with, give them the respect, integrity and honesty you want in return and you’ll get it back in spades.
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… AND, you can FOLLOW THE LINKS I have for you on the right side of this page to find some great information. Please see my video tour section, to see tours of Boulder real estate for sale, business profiles, neighborhood profiles, and new development profiles. I want you to find exactly what you want, and get all the info you need. Call or email me now to get straight answers, and start the process of finding the perfect solution to your real estate needs.
-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®

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