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7 Steps (Smart) Buyers are Taking Right Now

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Want to buy a home but have no idea where to start? Here are seven smart, easy steps that will put you ahead of the curve, even if you're not planning to buy a home anytime soon.


Current renters, future buyers ... we really gotta talk. 🥹

Too often, buyers create one of the most formidable hurdles they face in achieving homeownership by getting motivated to buy a home — only after and only when — competition has become extremely high. To be in position to score a great deal in a market that's both historically and critically short on inventory, smart buyers prepare thoughtfully ... and act early.

Here are seven smart (and easy) steps you can take right now that can't hurt a thing, but will put you ahead of the curve (and your competition) whenever the time is right for you to buy.

☕ 1. TALK with homeowners you know, respect, and trust. Ask them about their first home purchase. When did they buy? What challenges did they face? What have the benefits been? What do they wish they knew before they bought? What is their home worth today?

🔎 2. RESEARCH lending options. Talk to at least two experienced local lending pros to find out where your purchasing power is at today's rates. Ask about loan types offered, minimum down payments required, and programs that might include downpayment assistance plans. Inquire how to make credit repairs today that will improve your rate later.

👛 3. SAVE. To buy a home you need to first set aside enough money for the downpayment which will be applied towards the home's purchase price alone. Additionally, you need to save for other "cash at closing" expenses likely to include lending fees, appraisal costs, a title insurance policy for your lender, along with modest closing administration costs. There will be unique expenses in your transaction as well, such as home inspection reports and possible neighborhood/association fees. Every sale is different, plan ahead with trusted pros.

🤝 4. PARTNER with an experienced real estate professional. Buyers' agents do so much more than unlock a door to a home you want to tour. They educate consumers about the homebuying process, changing market conditions, buyers' rights and responsibilities, and advise about due diligence steps to take before closing. Professional agents also have access to (and know how to use 😉) advanced MLS tools to find needle-in-the-haystack homes, research opportunities, areas of interest, and provide expert pricing analysis before you ever make an offer on a home.

DID YOU KNOW: In Colorado, the buyer's agent almost always drafts the Contract to Buy that is delivered to a seller to "make an offer"? It's true! This 25+ page document contains six lengthy sections and defines hundreds of details in the transaction which become legally-binding after an offer is accepted or successfully "countered" by a seller.

📖 5. STUDY. There is a lot to know before buying your first home 😳 Get ahead of the natural but substantial learning curve early. Areas to explore include: Learning the basics about Home Owner Associations (HOAs), beefing up on Metro Districts (which always exist in newer developments), and understanding how tax assessments in Colorado are calculated (which is complicated ... to say the least) 🥴

Your real estate partner can provide an overview of all of these matters while sharing valuable educational resources to help you ramp up your homebuying journey with knowledge and confidence. Get started with a review of real estate terminology here.

💸 6. MONITOR your rental expenses. Unfortunately, that money can never (and will never) be recouped. Do the math over 18 months. Not only does it add up but will likely go up later without notice, making renting not only costly but unpredictable too.

🏡 7. PREPARE for prices in the Denver Metro to be flat or even rise a bit in 2024. The pandemic buying madness is thankfully behind us, but inventory is just too scarce to satisfy demand that exists any time soon. All indications point to local home values holding strong.

If you read this far, chances are good that you're a buyer who wants to put themselves in position to take advantage of a great deal.

In the Denver Metro area, that time is now.

There are sellers who have to sell before year's end. They waited too long, listed too late, and now find themselves in a bind. To respond, some are offering generous buyer concessions and will ultimately sell their homes below appraised values.

The result? A few happy and savvy buyers will close this year with significant instant equity. This window won't last long though. Expect conditions to likely — and quickly — tip right back into seller's favor come spring, especially after interest rates drop ... again.

☎️ QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Call me at (303) 638-8711. I'm an expert and I'm here to help. I am also 100% dedicated to buyer education and first time homebuyer success. I would love to hear from you, learn about your situation, discuss your goals, and design a customized plan to help you achieve them — confidently.

Watch this vid from Denver's own Nicole Rueth. It's only 8-mins and it's a game-changer 🤯

Until next time, I remain,

Your friend always ~SCHWING!


Michelle Schwinghammer is a REALTOR®, Certified Negotiation Expert® and Certified Pricing Strategy Advisor® who helps people move forward in Colorado. She currently serves as a Director for the Colorado Association of REALTORS and is honored to also be an expert contributor for the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS's Market Trends Committee.

SCHWINGSTATE, 5440 Ward Road, Suite 110, Arvada, CO 80002

(303) 638-8711,

@schwingstate on Facebook, Instagram and Spoutible

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