What Denver homebuyers are doing to get the house

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Kelli and Jake Rapplean thought offering $18,000 over asking, promising not to ask for anything after inspection and paying $3500 of a possible appraisal gap would be enough to buy their first home.

It wasn't.

"It was described as a fixer upper, but it got 23 offers." said Kelli Rapplean. "You have to go in so competitive, offering almost $20,000 over what the asking price is, which kind of blows my mind."

But recent numbers from REColorado, the largest Multiple Listing Service(MLS) in the state, show an 80 percent decrease in inventory from this time five years ago, while sales have stayed steady throughout the 5 years.

It is definitely a seller's market, which Louis Jaime found out after he got a job in Ft. Collins and listed his home in southeast Aurora.

"We listed it for $280,000 on a Thursday evening and by the end of Thursday we already had 17 offers," said Jaime, who said the offers went up to $50,000 above asking price.

"We are seeing craziness in the housing market," said Jill Svenson, a realtor who said buyers are now offering to pay a certain amount of the gap between what the house appraises for and the offer price, and writing in the contract that they will not ask for inspection repairs. "If anyone is out there thinking, 'Should I sell?' It is the perfect time to sell."

She said some buyers are even offering post-occupancy agreements to sellers and allowing them to continue to live in the homes for a certain amount of time.

"It’s intense. It’s really stressful," said Kelli Rapplean, waiting by the phone to find out if another offer $20,000 over asking price and covering up to a $3,500 appraisal gap was enough to get a house.

"I feel like there is a 10 percent chance we got it even with our awesome offer, so we’ll just wait and see," said Rapplean. "And then we’ll go back at it if we don’t get it."

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