This year has been like no other in history, at least in our lifetime. Since March, the coronavirus pandemic has changed nearly everything about our way of life. No surprise, it’s also changed the real estate industry. What buyers are looking for in a home and what sellers are expecting when they put their house on the market is quite different than it was a year ago.
In the Colorado mountains, we’ve seen an influx of people looking for an escape. Now that many can work from anywhere, buyers are leaving their metropolitan lifestyles for mountain town living, a place where they can spend time outdoors but close to amenities like restaurants, shops, spas and gyms. Buyer demand from the Front Range and out-of-state has led to record sales.
From single-family homes, to developments, to land sales, to fractionals, demand is high, and buyers are willing to spend what it takes to call the Colorado mountains home. What are buyers falling in love with this year? Well, they want to purchase a home that meets their need to live, work, play and learn. That means they’re looking for home offices (often more than one per residence) and areas where they can create a school-like environment for their kids who are likely participating in some form of remote learning. In our homes, we’re turning to technology more than ever before to feel safe, comfortable and entertained. From state-of-the-art security systems to home entertainment centers, our clients are looking for properties that are up to date, tech-wise.
More than ever before, we want space to move around, so we don’t feel restless or confined to our homes. Large common areas with open floor plans, where kitchens naturally flow into family rooms, are ideal for people to gather comfortably. Outdoor living spaces are also key as more families and friend groups opt to practice social distancing and spend time together outside.
For as many people who are looking, there are plenty who are selling. With inventory so low in many Colorado mountain towns, sellers are in a better position than ever to negotiate a contract the way they see fit. Many are finding that their current home no longer caters to the work-from-home lifestyle we’re all growing accustomed to. Or, perhaps they’re no longer tied down to that commute to their office. They’re looking to upgrade or change location, and when they put their current residence on the market, they’re likely to have the advantage.
How we work with each other and with our clients has changed as well. In March, as offices were shutting down across the country, SSF acted fast to adapt. Our teams collaborated to ramp up training and development programs, and to keep each other engaged and informed. We setup a remote infrastructure for our employees and clients so communications could all be handled virtually. More and more, buyers and sellers want to handle transactions this way – via email, video chat and virtual showings. Open houses, and even private showings, have occupancy caps, as well as hand sanitizer and mask requirements. Some buyers are willing to put an offer in on a property sight-unseen. We don’t know how long these changes will be in place or which changes are here to stay.
However, amidst all the turbulence, one thing will always remain the same: We at SSF will be ready to adapt to the changes without compromising our services to our clients, our employees or our community.
Click on the image to read further about our record shattering year in real estate!