With home sales falling in Colorado, real estate agents will have to fight over a shrinking pie

Number of associates in the business expected to drop after a flood of people entered the industryAldo Svaldi

Aldo Svaldi
The Denver Post
A "for sale" sign is posted outside a real estate office in Frisco on March 25, 2021.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

Thousands of people in Colorado shifted careers during the pandemic, getting in on a hot real estate market where listings sold in a weekend and demand seemed insatiable. But as activity cools under the weight of higher interest rates, a reckoning awaits many of those who had hoped to make a living helping others buy and sell homes.

“I think we’re going to see a lot fewer real estate agents. It always happens when the number of transactions drops,” said Mike DelPrete, a real estate tech strategist based in Boulder. “Significant drops — and we’ll never hear about it because these agents don’t get laid off, they just quietly leave the business.”

Home sales in Colorado fell by a fifth last year and are expected to slow even more this year, reducing the number of agents needed to service the volume of transactions available. The mortgage industry suffered huge job losses last year, and the grim reaper could be coming for the careers of real estate agents this year.

“Our membership numbers are still at a record high. A lot of people are still getting into this business,” said Tyrone Adams, president and CEO of the Colorado Association of Realtors. “We keep saying we are going to see a dip, but until it happens, we are going to continue to ride the wave.”

Adams said there are roughly 44,000 licensed real estate agents in the state, and of those, about 29,000 carry a Realtor designation, which requires adherence to a stricter code of ethics and membership in a professional organization. That number is down from about 30,000 members last year.

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