Making a reasonable offer in Colorado Springs?

Asked by Susie, Colorado Springs, CO Tue Jul 22, 2008

We are moving to Colorado Springs and would really like to buy an older home for our first home. Perferably in OCC or CEN. We are planning a house hunting trip for Aug. However so many of the homeshave been on the market for months. Some of the prices have dropped, not all though. How do we make an offer on a home that has been on the market for so long?

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Benjaminday, , Colorado Springs, CO
Mon Aug 4, 2008

I have been working downtown a lot this summer and in my little opinion it's one of the only areas in town selling briskly. But it is only selling briskly in certain price points. I have a listing on Institute that has sold once but is back on market, and the reason is that the buyers who bought it were stretched to the maximum qualification and didn't really think what an older home requires in terms of upkeep or improvements. The home they were moving from was tiny but was all fixed up. Brian Wass's comments about older homes requiring some fixing and to be on the look out with a pro are right on.

As far as making an offer on a home that has been on the market for quite a while, you need to evaluate what recent historical sales have been (as recent as the last 60 to 75 days) and see if you have the chance to buy a nice home on sale. Downtown and OCC don't have a ton of inventory when compared to other areas and are showing more signs of significant improvement in terms of neighborhoods than about any other part of town. Buying downtown in the short term makes a lot of sense. The reason time on market is so long for some is because of scarcity of buyers (for instance, there are only three sales since June 1 between $285,000 and $320,000 in the heart of downtown... but there are 11 homes for sale in that price range).
1 vote
Brian L. A.…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hi Susie :o)

You want to handle this in pretty much the same manner that you would normally handle purchasing any residential property offered for resale. Your Realtor Professional should perform a very tight market valuation of the property through a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) so that you, with your Buyer Agents assistance, can determine what you feel is a reasonable price for the property. Because of this it is very important that you choose a Realtor Professional to work with who has the verifiable experience, continuing real estate education, and knowledge to properly guide you.

Many of the properties in OCC are Victorian Era and Painted Lady's, and many are known to have structural issues that vary from minor to severe, so having a Realtor familiar with that area and a team of experts they can refer you to for professional advice is also very important.

It's all about educated negotiation. When boiled down to the simplest terms...a piece of property is only wrth what a buyer is willing to pay a willing seller.

If you haven't already chosen a Realtor Professional to work with I would be happy to offer my asistance in your relocation. My website is

Best regards
Brian L. A. Wess
Realtor®, Broker Associate
Residential & Investment Specialist
Colorado Springs, CO
Direct: 719-528-6672
1 vote
Sallyanne Ho…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Sat Aug 2, 2008
Welcome to Colorado Springs - by now you are probably in town and experiencing our wonderful way of life and I see you have received many good answers to your questions, however I couldn't resist putting my two cents in :) These homes most likely would not be in good condition and therefore over priced in the subjective buyers eye, hence the longevity of their listing. Others will be bank owned and although you would think that the banks would be reasonable, they are not!! If they are in good condition you may find that the seller is not willing to negotiate. As to how you make an offer on a home that has been on the market for so long - to my way of thinking you go in and make an offer based on what you feel you would like to pay for it and see what the selles says - if they are not in pre-foreclosure, foreclousre or in a short sale situation you might find that they will stick to their guns. However, do work wih a good agent - he/she will advise you of the estimated appraisal value, so that will help you, and he/she will also advise you regarding closing costs etc etc. The seller may give on the one hand but not on the other - it all comes down to the sellers net, a willing seller and a willing buyer. Good luck and have a lot of fun and do be careful.
0 votes
Georgina Van…, , Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 29, 2008
HI Susie,
Glad to hear you are making a move to our wonderful city. I have lived here in Colorado Springs for over 16 years and love it. You will be able to experience all the wonderful seasons and all that we have to offer.
The area you have selected to purchase a home in,as the name says it is "the heart" of the city or the center, you will be able to be "just a jump away" from the major freeway arteries that run thru the city. You'll have proximity to schools, parks and shopping. If you love the charm and vintage looks of an older home and enjoy modern ammenities you are headed in the right direction.
You may have noticed that some prices have dropped or that some homes have been on the market for a long time and the reason probably is price or condition. A good Buyer agent is someone you trust and he or she should be able to find out the true market value of a home and should advise you properly on what to offer. We as Buyer agents can do all that for you and more, at no obligation! Why? The Seller of the particular property that you select to buy, has made arrangements to pay the agent who brings the Buyer.
If you are looking for a stress free transaction,and a Real Estate agent that knows the area, please count on me, I welcome you to check out my website: where you can read about what my relocation and first time home buyers have to say about me and my services.
Georgina Van Camp
McGinnis/GMAC Real Estate

P.S.I would love to send you a FREE copy of our City guide, that includes favorite restaurants and favorite sites to visit. Just send me an e-mail
Hope to hear from you soon!
0 votes
Darrell Wass, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Thu Jul 24, 2008
Hi Susie,
Step one is make sure you are working with a Buyers Agent, and NOT a Transaction Broker. In Colorado, only a Buyers Agent is Your advocate, where a Transaction Broker is neither parties advocate, and just wants to put the deal together.

Step two, is make sure all your financing/funding is ready before you make an offer so a seller knows you are serious, and don't make any offers contingent upon a sale of another home.

Step three, is if you don't don't fall in love with just one house, a low offer can be just fine. Just be aware you might offend some sellers. Homes are like cars, there will always be another if you can't put a deal together.

Step four, be patient and have fun. It may take a few tries, but you can get a great deal on a great house in this market.

I have personally lived in OCC and would love to help if you need a Buyer's Agent.
0 votes
Pamela Weath…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Wed Jul 23, 2008
Hi Susie,

It's a common phenomenon. People in the market for a home seem to develop an acute awareness of "For Sale" signs. Suddenly, signs are everywhere. You even notice them in neighborhoods you aren't particularly interested in.
If you've moved into this phase of home shopping, you may be stopping your car or visiting the internet to jot down the agent's phone number, then calling for more information. At this point you should be aware you're talking with the seller's representative, who has the seller's best interests in mind, not yours.
To have your interests represented, you need your own agent. If I represent you, I can provide information about a home that the seller's agent can't. For example, you might want to know how much equity the seller has in the home or why they're selling.
There's much more I could do for you as your buyer's agent as well. The best part is that compensation for all these services would come out of the commission paid by the seller. What's not to like about that!
Having someone to guide you in the home buying process is crucial. There are many factors involved as the other agents have mentioned. Just review their comments again. I do have a lender that specializes with first time home buyers. There are several products out there to help first time home buyers with little or no money down. He would be happy to talk to you before you arrive to let you know what program would work best for you. Give me a call or email me and I can you his information. I also have a free buyers program that will email you properties that are available in your price range that meet your criteria. Have a great day. God Bless your move. I look forward to meeting you.
Pamela Weatherford
HOPE Realty
0 votes
Mike Washing…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008
My team and I work extensively with first time home buyers in educating the complete home buying process. The market value of any home is determined by what a potential buyer is willing to pay. Of course we will prepare a comparable market analysis (CMA) to get a clear picture of what homes in that neighborhood are selling for. But it has no link to what you may choose to offer. And that's where you need a Realtor that is experienced and highly successful in negotiations. My team and I are here to help in any way we can. I can be reached at 719-499-4954 or email at or visit
Web Reference:
0 votes
Bill Fung, Agent, Centennial, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008

If it helps you, there is a colorado springs realtor, I have known for over 12 years and have frequently referred buyers and sellers to her. She has always done an excellant job based on the feedback I have received.

If you would like her number let me know, go to my website and email or call me if you like. I don't work in the Colo Springs area so would not be able to give you any information that you might feel is helpful.

Web Reference:
0 votes
The Daniels…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hi Susie,

This is a good question! There are many variables that go into making such a decision. The most important thing you can do to start with is hiring a Realtor who knows the Old Colorado City and Central Colorado Springs Markets to represent your needs. If your Realtor is representing you as a buyers agent they should be able to look at the key variables to assist in your offer price. Some of the things to look at are average days on market compared to the property you are looking at, approximate amount owed on the property, any price drops & how much, and market value of the property. These are just some of the items that will paint a picture of the seller's situation. Your Realtor should be able to go more into depth on this situation and make your decision much easier. Good luck!
0 votes
Melanie Pren…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008
HI Susie,
To make an offer on a home in any market, you do need to have a real estate professional that is knowledgeable about the area and the process working for you. After talking with you and getting a good understanding of what you are looking for, they will help you locate a home that you like that is within your budget (price range), in the location you are looking for and with the features you are looking for, in your situation, in an older home. Then, they will do a 'market analysis' where they look thoroughly at similar homes in the area and see what they have sold for in recent months. There are many other factors that they take into consideration such as condition of the property you are looking at, such as the time on the market, price reductions or the lack of, the condition and amenities of sold properties, etc., to determine if the home you are interested is already priced at market value or, above or below market value. Once determining the current market value you and your Realtor will discuss what a good offer would be and what you as the buyer are comfortable paying for the home. As a first time home buyer, it is also important for the Realtor to educate you on the buying process before you start so that you can make an educated decision once you are ready to make an offer. The Realtor will write up the offer and go over it with you to make sure you understand what you are signing and agreeing to and then give the offer to the listing agent. If you would like more information, I do have a Buyer Packet that I go over with my clients to educate them on the buying process and would be glad to send you a copy that you can look over in advance of your 'house hunting' trip to Colorado Springs if that would be of help to you. You can visit my website for all of my contact information or email me and I will be glad to give you more information.
Thanks for you interest in Colorado Springs. I'm sure you will love it here!:o) Melanie Prensner, Realtor with Remax Advantage- Colorado Springs, CO 80918
0 votes
Bill Hays, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008
The most important thing in this process is to purchase the home that meets your criteria. We do have a significant amount of inventory on the market at the current time which makes it a perfect time to buy in Colorado Springs. Whether a house is on the market for 1 day or 100 days, the purchase price will be based on the motivation of the seller. As your Buyer’s Agent, it is my responsibility to do the homework on the, neighborhood, the subject home and seller’s motivation, to help you make the correct offer for the home. I look forward to work with you. You will love Colorado Springs!!
0 votes
Mark Wallick, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Jul 22, 2008

It is important to watch the pricing in the area, like you have been. The older areas of Colorado Springs, including the Old Colorado City area, are eclectic and have an almost "intangible" value. There area also a lot of things to beware of in the older home market like structural issues and what type of updates have been done/need to be done. I lived in the downtown area for about five years and did a restoration of our home there. Unfortunately we grew out of that home as soon as we finished the work! ;~) When you come to town, if you don't already have a Realtor, my wife and I could meet with you to talk about the areas and also tour you around the downtown and Old Colorado City area.

When considering an offer you need to look at comparable properties and take in to account the time on the market, updates done/needed and the other factors that can make a difference like location, size, unique nature of the home, etc. If the home has been on the market for a long time it is just overpriced for our market. Plain and simple - overpriced. The seller may not see it that way so it is important for you to not become attached to a home before it is yours! If you have questions just get in touch with us. It would be better to continue this dialogue over the next few weeks while you are preparing for you trip so you can get all of your questions answered directly. Take Care. Mark Wallick
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0 votes
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