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How to stand out from other buyers in Denver's red-hot real estate market

Houses selling for less than $400,000 on average are sold in less than 17 days.
Credit: KUSA

Denver — Buying a house in Denver can be daunting, especially considering houses priced at $400,000 spend an average of just 17 days on market, according to multiple listing service REColorado.

RELATED | How long does it take to sell a home around Denver?

"It takes a village," said Taylor Wilson, a realtor with Keller Williams Integrity Real Estate.

Wilson said buying a home in Denver doesn't always mean having a cash offer right away.

"Especially in this market, with sellers trying to buy another house, it's timing," he said.

Heather Heuer, the president and employing broker of Porch Light Real Estate Group, said in addition to having cash upfront, a team of brokers and others who know each other can be the most helpful tool for buyers.

"That's a huge component of it," agreed Matt Leprino, realtor and owner of Leprino Home.

"We were joking that if it's a cloudy day you might have a better shot than a sunny day," Heuer said.

The three agreed one of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make is assuming the first offer they make will be the house they buy.

"I think going in and not doing your homework, not knowing exactly what you can afford" is a mistake Leprino sees a lot.

Heuer said it usually ends up being the 5 to 8th offer that works out.

Because the market is so competitive, some realtors encourage their clients to do something to stand out, like writing a love letter.

"And this is controversial sometimes," Wilson said. "And I instruct my clients you know to point out things about the home that you really love about it, that you're really going to use those raised beds in the backyard to grow your vegatables."

But as an employing broker, Heuer worries love letters can violate the Fair Housing Act.

"It's to protect the consumer, it's to make sure that we don't discriminate against race, against class, against all of those things that make our playing field fair," Heuer said.

And today, it's not just letters.

"I did hear of an agent who had pizzas delivered to a house the night they submitted an offer," Wilson said.

"I've heard of Broncos season tickets, I've heard of two round trips to Paris," Leprino added.

And the three agreed, that kind of stuff can work.

"Emotions sell homes," Heuer said.

But without planning ahead, researching a lender and saving the money, the love letters won't do much good.

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