Competition is fierce for those looking to buy a home in El Paso County

Buyers fight over low inventory of homes for sale
Posted at 2:19 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 00:27:43-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on many industries, but News5 learned when it comes to buying and selling homes things are not slowing down. Experts say in El Paso County buyers need to be ready for some fierce competition.

Real estate agents say if you want to own a home in El Paso County you better be ready to compete with a surging number of people who are also looking to buy. Many people are making offers of $10,000 to $15,000 more than the asking price on the same day some of these homes are listed.

"I'm telling you, it would come up and in an hour it would be gone," said Colorado Springs resident Kara O'Brien.

Working with local real estate agent John Harding, O'Brien recently managed to sell and buy a home in Colorado Springs. Her home sold on the first day for $10,000 over her asking price but buying her next home was tough.

"I was like let's go look at it and it would be gone," said O'Brien. "To compete with other people is hard."

Eventually, O'Brien made an aggressive move and secured a home.

"I looked at the house online and John put down the bid for it and I got it," said O'Brien. "Then, I was like, can we go see what I bought?"

She bought the home sight unseen. She had only looked at the home online.

"The market is just as hot as it can be," said Harding, who has sold homes in El Paso County for years. "We have this great demand in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities, but so little inventory. I mean, it is a fighting match for just about any property that comes on the market."

At the end of July, there were only 718 single family homes for sale in El Paso County. At last check, there were around 500 for sale in Colorado Springs. Harding says in some years, the number of homes for sale across the county is closer to 4,000.

"Clients that haven't planned are in for a shock," said Harding. "That's why this story is so important. Give them an idea of what's happening in the real estate market. They're not prepared. They're not prepared for the prices that they're going to have to pay. They're not prepared for the financing that they're going to have to find."

Right now, the average cost of a home in Colorado Springs is more than $401,000. It's a number that has steadily increased over the last several years.

"There is no greater investment than a home," said Harding. "That is where you become financially independent. That's your first step because you're not throwing that $1200 to $1500 out the window every month. That's going back into your investment and over time it's a huge return."

The Rebound Colorado Rebound Rundown:

- Despite COVID-19 people are still buying and selling homes

- Locally there's a low inventory of homes for sale

- Making for a high buyer demand as costs increase for renters

- Buyers need a competitive strategy in this climate

- Experts urge people to start planning now for homeownership

"This is a great time for those folks to start planning," said Harding. "Talk to a lender, get your credit in line. There are things that you can do that you're not aware of that are going to put you in the driver's seat when you can buy," said Harding.

A combination of expert advice, real estate strategies and grant programs can help prepare you for success in this housing market.

Some of the down payment assistance programs that are out there include:

CHFA (Colorado Housing and Finance)

Turn Key (El Paso County Bond)

CHAC (Colorado Housing and Assistance Corp)

To have your questions answered and to learn more about lending options visit:

If you would like to contact Real Estate Agent John Harding: