Colorado home buyers offering crazy perks in wild real estate market

Colorado home buyers going to great lengths
Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 11:51:47-04

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DENVER -- What lengths would you go to in order to seal the deal on a new house in this absolutely bonkers Colorado real estate market?

Denver7 learned Wednesday the median price for a starter home in the metro area reached $267,000. A steep haul for a starter house.

It's tough keeping pace with these high housing costs.

But - in order to keep up, buyers are offering some ridiculous perks, including one recent story about a buyer offering a seller a trip to Paris. 

“We have a lot of mileage-plus points,” joked realtor Kathleen Genereux with HomeSmart Cherry Creek. “I might use that one.”

Genereux’s latest listing in Denver’s uber-hot Sloan's Lake neighborhood isn't even on the market until this Thursday, yet she already has at least two potential buyers for the listing priced around $850,000.

"The bottom line is - how much are they offering?" Genereux said.

Experts say the market is so crazy right now, buyers are offering trips to Paris or Broncos season tickets for a year, just to win-over sellers. Genereux told Denver7 nothing surprises her at this point.

She even suggests first-time buyers come to the table with all cash. No matter how you get it.

"Will your parents lend you the money to buy, so you can be a cash buyer?” Genereux said. “And if you can't do that - then you're going to look at a lot of houses and you're going to lose a lot."

Calling it a seller’s market might be the understatement of the decade.

"It's insane,” said Trish Kelly with Grant Real Estate Company. “I had 78 showings and 17 offers on a property last week."

Kelly said sellers are also making absurd demands.

"My client said - the one who buys this house is the one who will take care of the pet squirrel that's been around for three generations. And the seller told the story. (He) had a list written out on the table about the pet squirrel."

Kelly said buyers wrote all kinds of nutty letters to the squirrel-loving seller.

“I mean - it was funny at the time, but people were serious. They said, 'I swear to you we will take care of your pet squirrel,'" Kelly said. “People are willing to do things they would have never done five years ago."

How nuts is it in reality?

Well, consider Amy Berglund's story about what happened with her listing in Potter Highlands this past weekend. It’s a Victorian cottage built in 1885. The asking price was around $550,000.

"We had three really amazing offers that rose to the top,” said Berglund. “We will be closing just under $80,000 over the list price."

“Is that a record for you?” asked Denver7 reporter Russell Haythorn. “Yes. Absolutely," replied Berglund.

Bottom line, if you’re a buyer – most experts agree – go the extra mile. Write a letter. Bake a fresh batch of cookies.

“A buyer showed up at the door of my recent Arvada showing with a freshly baked plate of chocolate chip cookies,” Berglund said.

“Did she get the house,” Haythorn asked.

“No. She didn’t,” Berglund said.

Kelly said that’s no reason to be discouraged.

“Send the singing telegram, and the Broncos tickets and trips to Paris. All that stuff," Kelly said. “Just don’t give up. The right one always comes along. Never, ever, ever give up. It’s always going to work out.”

"The letters don't hurt,” Genereux said. “Some people are very moved by that. It depends on the seller. They may want a family to live in this house, they may want single people, they may want hell-raisers in their house. Who knows?"