Industry Update, March 20

This morning I attended a webinar hosted by several Denver metro leaders and executives to participate in an Industry Update. Panelists included:


• Matt Garlinghouse, Executive VP Capital Markets, Cherry Creek Mortgage

• Jennifer Payne, President of Loan Operations, First Bank

• Mark Kraft, Regional Sales Manager, US Bank

• John Freyer, President, Land Title Guarantee Company

• Jon Goodman, attorney at law, Franscona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein


My Notes and Personal Takeaways


Counties, banks, title companies, and brokerages are all working together to implement technological and operational solutions so that consumers can effectively conduct real estate transactions in a new working environment. This includes "contact-free" or "contact-less" paperwork processing, safe digital transfers of earnest money, greatly increased use of video conferencing and virtual tours, and managing people flow.


New home purchases and market activity remain strong in the Denver market due to low inventory ... just as low mortgage rates are driving high levels of refinance requests. Together, this is creating a volume issue for banks to manage.


From a banking perspective, anticipate possible processing delays due to capacity pressure. Know that during this influx, home purchases will take priority over refinancing transactions. Banks are confident that all orders can be processed. Importantly, while banks may reduce hours or locations operating during this management period, there is no fear of banks “closing” or becoming insolvent.


What This May Mean to Buyers and Sellers Today


Showing traffic, market activity, and buyer demand remain high in the Denver area, and brokers are implementing methods to show homes and market properties with precautions.


Instead of open houses expect to see more 3D interactive property scans, video tours, and other methods by which buyers can virtually tour listings. On site, buyers and sellers are advised to take precautions as they responsibly tour homes.


To get a transaction to the closing table, buyers and sellers may need to cooperate by agreeing to deadline extensions for matters outside their control.


Delays appear most likely in county records requests and appraisal scheduling, but are not expected to be extended.


More transactions could close on a 35- to 45-day window, instead of the typical 30 day schedule.



We are in uncertain times. Buyers and sellers alike may appreciate protections before agreeing to enter into a contract. Ways to offer assurance could include adding contractual clauses, allowing for lower earnest money amounts, or agreeing to extended objection deadlines.


While some sellers may feel uneasy about some of these ideas at first, they should take confidence that buyers have a lot of skin in the