Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

With the results of election season still taking center stage, the virtue of patience is often required. It can take days, weeks, or even a runoff election before a result is confirmed. (I’m looking at you, Georgia.) In much the same vein, I’ve been watching the real estate market hover between a seller’s and buyer’s market for months now. But after reviewing recent data, I’m ready to call it: it’s now officially a buyer’s market.

In a buyer’s market, there are several defining characteristics. For example, home prices decrease and listings linger longer on the market — and recently, both of these factors have been gaining steam. While most pundits have settled somewhere in the middle, there’s one particular aspect that pushed me into the buyer’s winning territory. Let me explain.

Year over year, Boulder still exhibits signs of growth in the average sales price, but when we focus in and take a look at the last six months, the average sales price has been decreasing, albeit not by a huge percentage, but a steady decline nonetheless. Indicator number one: home prices are decreasing.

Concurrently to the lower price trajectory, days on market are increasing. In the past six months, listings are averaging 20 percent more time on the market. This is a big change from the frenzied days of multiple offers, no contingencies, and quick closings. Indicator number two: listings are lingering longer.

Even with the two indicators alight, it was a third element that tipped the scales for me: concessions. Sellers are now offering rate buy downs, paying a period of HOA fees upfront, and even owner financing in some cases. Six months ago, you were lucky to get an appointment for a 15-minute showing, and you were virtually guaranteed a bidding war no matter what. Oh, how the tides have changed. Now, the sellers are sweetening their deals to attract offers. The scales have tipped and I’m calling it: it’s a buyer’s market.

By Sean McIllwain. Sean is the founding broker of Mod Boulder Real Estate. Call 720.252.6051 or visit