The tight market for entry-level single-family homes so far this year has meant some properties are seeing multiple, competing offers. In those cases, being the winning offer might take sweetening the pot.

Matt Stensland/file

The tight market for entry-level single-family homes so far this year has meant some properties are seeing multiple, competing offers. In those cases, being the winning offer might take sweetening the pot.

Tight market for single-family homes sometimes means 'sweetening the pot'

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— The market for single-family homes has been the most active of the year so far, so it’s no surprise that some of the choicest properties in the category are seeing multiple, competitive offers.

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Of the last four offers Buyer’s Resource Real Estate agent Doug Labor put in for clients, he said, three were competing with another offer.

“It’s just the good properties,” Labor said. “They’re kind of few and far between.

“People are realizing that and making offers and bumping into one another.”

The median price for a single-family home in the Steamboat area through June 27 was $740,000 this year compared to $565,950 through the same date last year, Labor said.

But when competing against another offer, it’s not based solely on price, Labor said, and offers have to take into account other circumstances.

“Sweetening the pot is definitely one of the keys,” Cindy MacGray, of Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty, said about competing with multiple offers.

MacGray said she saw a home get four offers within two days of being on the market, but it’s not the same with all properties.

“It's a price point; it’s a location,” she said. “The downtown houses are getting a high level of interest.”

Eliminating contingencies and being flexible with moving dates and the seller’s needs all can help close a deal. Being a cash offer also can be very attractive.

Cash purchases had represented a majority of Routt County’s transactions for a number of months before May, when the balance slipped in favor of financing, 58 percent to 42 percent.

Still, cash offers still are popular nationwide even while purchases by institutional investors have slipped. An analysis by real estate website Zillow found that in 27 of the 30 metro areas it examined, more than one-third of homes in the bottom section of the market were bought with cash. Individuals were more likely to buy homes at the bottom of the market with cash in the first quarter of the year, according to Zillow.

In Steamboat Springs, that bottom range has been marching up.

From 2012 to 2014, the median price at the bottom of the market increased 47 percent, Labor said.

The upward of movement prices includes actual appreciation but also represents dwindling supply of entry-level homes.

As of Thursday, there were 37 single-family homes at less than $600,000 on the market in the Steamboat area, according to MacGray. West Steamboat saw a number of homes appear on the market recently, she said.

“That’s a fair number of homes,” MacGray said. And while she doesn’t see them all flying off the market (some might need work or be otherwise a tough sell), the average time on market for that segment is 62 days, “which is a pretty quick turnaround,” she said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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