| VailDaily.com

New mobile app, Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty, virtually turns an empty house into a home

The integration of technology into business processes has created more opportunities for industries across the board ­— and real estate is no exception. By using cutting edge technology, real estate agents can help their buyers and sellers overcome difficult barriers to closing a sale. One of those challenges is often a failure to envision an empty house as a home. Sotheby’s International Realty recognized this physical and emotional disconnect and created a solution.

Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty is a revolutionary augmented reality mobile app that allows one to see rooms in a home virtually staged as they are being toured. Potential buyers can visualize what an empty home will look like fully furnished just by holding up and looking through their mobile devices.

The first real estate brand to launch and implement a virtual staging AR app, Sotheby’s International Realty places high importance on striving to be a leader in adopting the latest technologies and tools to better serve its sales associates and most importantly, its clients. Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty was built with ARCore, Google’s AR software platform, and is powered by roOomy, the leading virtual staging technology platform which specializes in 3D/AR/VR content creation and application development.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty brand once again sets the new standard for the use of technology to seamlessly improve the buying and selling process,” said Kristen Muller, senior vice president of marketing and communications for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “The Curate app can completely reposition a home in a potential buyer’s eyes, creating an emotional connection and allowing a buyer to envision the house as their home. This is an invaluable tool to agents, home buyers and sellers.”

The app features capabilities that simply wouldn’t be possible with physical staging. Real estate agents and sellers can collaborate to create an appealing interior design with different aesthetic options ranging from modern to rustic, to more traditional styles.

What’s more, if the client is unsatisfied with the virtual staging, simply change it. There’s no hassle of moving furniture, making Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty the easiest option for dressing up a vacant home. Since many homes in the resort communities are secondary or seasonal homes, physically staging a home from out-of-town can be too cumbersome for some sellers. That’s where virtual staging becomes a must.

“Vail and Beaver Creek is a second-home market,” said David McHugh, a broker for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “90% of my buyers don’t live there. And that’s really where we embrace technology, to get in front of those people. It saves them time.”

Not only can users explore the virtually staged homes in augmented reality, but they can also purchase the furniture used in the virtual interior designs by simply tapping the items on the screen to get more product information and a link to shop on the retailers’ website. Retail partners include Sotheby’s Home, Pottery Barn, and Perigold, to name a few.

Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty is available now for download in the App store or the Google Play Store. To learn more, contact Amanda Molitor at 303-486-3770.

To discuss buying or selling a Vail Valley residence, contact a real estate professional today by visiting resorts.livsothebysrealty.com or calling 970-476-7944.

LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, the exclusive Board of Regent for the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, has 23 office locations in the resort communities of the Vail Valley, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, and Telluride, also including Denver Metro and the surrounding areas. For more information, call 970.476.7944. To service all of your real estate needs visit resorts.livsothebysrealty.com.

Vail Valley real estate sales, volume now ahead of 2018

EAGLE COUNTY — This could be Beaver Creek’s time to shine.

Strong sales in August and September have put Eagle County’s 2019 real estate market ahead of the pace set in 2018. A number of those sales — 18 — came in Beaver Creek. How significant is that? There were 19 sales in the town of Eagle in September.

Dan Fitchett is the vice president managing broker of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Beaver Creek. Fitchett said resort-area inventory in the rest of the valley is either more expensive or low on inventory. That has potential buyers taking another look at Beaver Creek, he said.

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate Managing Broker John Pfeiffer agreed, saying that the combination of views, setting and other amenities in Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch offer a lot for buyers.

“They recognize the value of these homes,” Pfeiffer said.

Beaver Creek real estate has moved more slowly than homes in Vail for a while now. Pfeiffer said buyers are now taking a hard look at Beaver Creek.

‘Beaver Creek’s turn’

“If you look at any slow market, it always finds its feet,” Pfeiffer said, citing turnarounds the past few years in Eagle Ranch and Cordillera.

“It’s Beaver Creek’s turn,” he said.

Longtime area broker Ron Byrne agreed that buyers are finding value in Beaver Creek right now.

“There’s value in Vail, too, but there’s such a scarcity of new high-end (units),” Byrne said. “If someone wants a three-bedroom (luxury) unit in Vail, there are very few available,” Byrne said.

While Beaver Creek’s sales nearly matched those in Eagle, that’s not the case for the entire year to date — which you’d expect, since Eagle has many more homes. Through the first nine months of the year, there were 91 sales in Beaver Creek, compared to 197 in Eagle.

Local market shows strength

After spending most of the year trending behind 2018 in both transactions and dollar volume — the value of those sales — sales in August and September finally put this year ahead of the previous year.

Pfeiffer said in the summer he believed that late summer and early fall sales would “reflect a big change in the market.” That seems to have happened.

“Everyone was so focused on the national news, and we said, ‘Let’s see (what happens),’” Pfeiffer said, adding that the valley has an “incredibly healthy market.”

Byrne, who’s been in the local real estate business for decades, said he believes the market will stay strong into 2020.

But, he added, the market is closely tied to snow.

“Early snow… affects our market more than global markets,” Byrne said.

And, he added, 2020 promises to put more luxury product in Vail into the market. The Altus project, formerly known as Mountain View Phase II, is just east of the Vail Village parking structure and is now under construction. That project will bring 15 condominiums, 20 accessory units and 15 workforce housing apartments to the housing mix in Vail Village.

Byrne, the listing broker for the project, said Altus will bring about $90 million worth of new construction to the area. Byrne added that there have been recent sales at Solaris.

Those units will probably goose the 2020 number of units priced at $5 million or more.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2930.

Ask a Realtor: Should I try to sell my home during the holidays?

Dear Mike: My wife and I are considering putting our Vail home on the market and we’re getting mixed advice from friends on doing it now or holding off until after the New Year and holidays. Do holiday visitors actually spend time looking? Or are we better holding off until after the New Year? 

— Contemplative Holiday Seller

Dear Contemplative Holiday Seller: Your questions are very relevant for this time of year and ones we get asked frequently. 

Locally, activity in the Vail Valley has been strong here the last few months and demand is expected to continue through the end of the year and into the New Year. Currently, inventories are very limited in the majority of key price points making this an excellent time to show off your home and take advantage of low supply and high demand. 

Additional reasons for optimism is the snow has started to fall and ski vacationers will begin heading to the valley from Thanksgiving on through the New Year. Visitors, and corporate executives in particular who are primary holiday shoppers, typically have some extra time due to few daily distractions when on vacation. It’s always easier to sell to someone who is enamored with an area while visiting. They may decide they want to own a home that enables them to take advantage of all the valley offers year around.

Other key benefits to listing your home over the holidays include:

  • Holiday buyers are serious, committed and focused.
  • Family-oriented homes, representing the lifestyle market buyer, are seasonally radiant during the decorative holiday period, offering more appeal to potential buyers.
  • Consumer confidence is currently strong.
  • Interest rates are very low.
  • Some home buyers purchase homes as gifts (Yes, this is the Vail Valley!)

In addition to the above opportunities and benefits of listing your home over the holidays, it’s also important to keep in mind that even in a high-demand market other key factors come into play. These include:

  • Setting your home at a competitive price point in the market.
  • Having it staged appropriately, including minimizing clutter and personal items.
  • Making sure you have a high curb appeal.

Combined, you should be in a good position to have interested buyers come your way. Happy holidays!

Mike Budd is a 19-year Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties veteran, specializing in residential and commercial real estate, including being named Vail Board REALTOR of the Year in 2016.  A Vail Valley resident for 21 years, Budd has seen the Vail Valley evolve into one of the most desirable resort/lifestyle communities in the world. Contact Budd with your real estate questions at mike@mikebudd.com,  970-376-4511 or http://www.mikebudd.com.

Ask a Realtor: Am I paying my Realtor too much?

Dear Joan: I am stunned at how much local real estate agents make on transactions in our area. I should have become an agent and joined in the financial bonanza available to be reaped in. I am getting ready to sell my property and move out of the area and I am working on how I can avoid those exorbitant fees. I could sell it myself, but I would have to deal with the public, or I could use a discount company that puts it in the MLS, but I would still have to show it myself. Or maybe I could just sell it to one of the companies, like Zillow, that are buying homes directly. I guess I could also try to talk a local agent into a much lower fee, but that would be hard for me. Looking for suggestions, if you would be willing to give me any, since you are a Realtor! 

— Confused 

Dear Confused: I would be happy to help you figure out how you can put more money in your pocket when you sell. First of all, you need a knowledgeable Realtor with great negotiation skills. You have made it plain that you do not qualify for that position. If you were selling by yourself, you might lose buyers with your lack of knowledge of the business and you certainly could lose tens of thousands of dollars on negotiating your sales price and any possible settlement on the Inspection Objection that the buyer would present. 

Also, in today’s market, any buyer with any net worth is going to use a professional to show them houses. If you are not in the MLS they will probably miss you, and if they do show your house, you will be negotiating against a professional. You are correct in saying that if you use a company that just charges a fee to put your property in the MLS, you are still doing all the For Sale By Owner jobs, with no expertise or assistance. As far as selling to an iBuyer company, which can be found as a division of most real estate companies now,  they probably would not accept your property nor would you want to suffer the loss on your net profit if they did. Most of the iBuyer programs are designed for the low end of the market,  under $300,000, and usually end up costing the Seller 13% to 15%, according to the industry analysts. 

Lastly, about talking your real estate agent down on their commission, I would like to give you a few facts to consider. Almost always the real estate agent is giving their company a split out of their commission. They are paying for marketing, and if they offer you the size and expertise of a team, they have many more expenses. They take photos, spend weekends doing open houses and all with no guarantee of ever being paid back. They use every bit of their knowledge and skills to get you the most money possible. Therefore, I believe you actually will net more money, to put in your pocket, by using a skilled professional at a reasonable commission rate, than trying to sell on your own with no commission.  If you are making more money, I would say, no, you are not paying them too much to get there.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at joan@teamblackbear.com, 970-337-7777 orhttp://www.skiandteehomes.com.

Does selling a high-priced Colorado mountain home on the big name of its former owner actually work? Asking for Lindsey Vonn

The manse on the banks of Black Gore Creek is beautiful. Tucked into East Vail, the 7,042 square-foot spread among the easternmost homes in the Vail Valley is far from the hustle of the ski village down the road. 

It has all the trimmings of a Vail palace: stone and timber, double-sided fireplace, open kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, gym, big deck, walk-in closets.

And this home — at $6 million, the highest-priced listing right now in East Vail — comes with a story. It’s owned by the greatest American ski racer ever.

Does that provenance matter? 

“I don’t know,” says listing agent Gil Fancher, who sold Lindsey Vonn the home in 2014. “Maybe someone will see the value in not just the house and location but also in the prior owner.”

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.

Vail Valley real estate sees a rebound in August

EAGLE COUNTY — August was a good month for real estate in Eagle County.

Through the end of July, both the number of transactions and sales volume — the price of those transactions — lagged behind 2018’s numbers by about 10%. According to the most recent data from Land Title Guarantee Company, that situation changed in August.

For the month, there were 200 transactions, with $243 million in dollar volume. Through the end of August — the last month for which Land Title has data —  both dollar volume and transactions are now slightly ahead of 2018’s numbers for the same period.

As usual, Eagle and Gypsum accounted for the biggest piece of the transaction pie, with 40 total sales. But the Edwards area — Arrowhead to Cordillera — accounted for 39 sales in the month.

Edwards usually doesn’t match the western valley community in transaction numbers.

For the year to date, there have been 349 sales in Eagle and Gypsum, with 248 in the Edwards area.

Inventory part of the equation

Mike Budd, an Edwards-based broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Mountain Properties, said August’s strength in Edwards could be a function of inventory. Homes in the Edwards area tend to be higher-priced, but there are more available.

Brokers have said for some time that the valley’s for-sale inventory is low. That leaves few options in the area.

In a report Budd prepared for the Colorado Association of Realtors, he noted that there’s a roughly 5.2-month supply of townhomes and condos. The single-family/duplex market has roughly 7.7 months of inventory.

“Both categories are at historically low levels,” Budd wrote in his report.

But overall numbers tell only part of the story. The Vail Valley has a broad range of neighborhoods and price points. The segment below $500,000 for years accounted for the biggest share of the county’s transactions. That’s changed in the past couple of years. Homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million now make up the biggest slice of the transaction pie chart.

While the market remains stable year over year, homes sales of $5 million or more are lagging behind the pace set in 2015.

There were 51 such sales in 2018. Through the end of August, 24 of those properties had been sold. 

Few sales, much impact

Those very large sales have an outsized impact on sales volume numbers.

Still, Budd said, he expects 2019’s transaction and volume numbers to finish about even with 2018, which was a good year for the market.

John Pfeiffer, managing broker at Slifer Smith & Frampton, said that’s indicative of a “healthy” local market. 

Both buyers and sellers, in general, are being “very collaborative,” Pfeiffer said.

“Sellers recognize they have a real buyer, and they’re working with those buyers,” Pfeiffer said. That results in negotiations that end in satisfactory results for both parties.

Pfeiffer said August’s sales in Edwards are in part a sign of that area being a “home run” as a community.

And, while it can be a bit of a drive from Cordillera to Edwards’ commercial core, Pfeiffer noted that it takes 15 or 20 minutes to get just about anywhere in that part of the valley.

“Our walkability scores (aren’t great),” he said.

Pfeiffer said August’s numbers are about what he’d expected to see in July. Still, he said, he’s pleased.

“It really sent a message to our team,” Pfeiffer said. “Buyers are still here, sellers are willing… it’s a stable market.”

That’s good news for everyone in a community, Pfeiffer added.

“If I see millionaires and billionaires putting cash into this market, that makes me feel pretty good,” he said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2930.

Red Table Ranch offers a modern escape

Red Table Ranch is the perfect place for those looking to find serenity from everyday stress. Here, you can enjoy time with family and friends, an abundance of outdoor activities and grand views that span across the horizon lines in all directions of the home.

Red Table Ranch in Cordillera is situated on over 72 acres of Colorado landscape that offers a wildlife corridor allowing elk, deer and grouse to migrate throughout the property. Sunrise or sunset, nature is on full display.

This three-building European compound-concept design, completed in January 2019, features the main house with three bedrooms and several living areas that are perfect for entertaining. Imagine the family gatherings and parties that can be hosted with the pizza oven, grill, hot tub, heated patio, Guinness on tap and a candy wall.

A detached two-bedroom guesthouse allows friends and family a place to call their own and you can keep all the vehicles and outdoor gear and equipment in a heated 1,000-plus square-foot garage.

The home also has over 1,000 square-feet of heated patio space. European LiftSlide doors unite the indoors and the outdoors into a seamless entertainment space and a place to enjoy the scenic vistas.

Winter activities include snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing and world-class skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek. In the summer, hiking, golfing, biking, horseback riding and so much more are just outside your door.

The home was designed by Vail Valley architect, Kyle Webb. By working with the homeowners, Webb was able to design a home that would take their vision of a one-hundred-year-old ranch and create a re-imagined luxury modern mountain home. Red Table Ranch integrates seamlessly into the environment, is environmentally friendly with clean, modern lines and has every modern convenience.

To see this spectacular home in this amazing setting, visit the open houses that will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily thou Oct. 25. To view it by appointment, contact Broby Leeds with Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate at 970-331-2205 or on the web at https://www.conciergeauctions.com/auctions/594-winchester-trail-edwards-colorado.

Q3 Market Report: Active Vail Valley market boding well for buyers and sellers

Activity and strong buyer interest best describe the Vail Valley’s residential real estate market in the third quarter.

The first half of the year showed a 7% decline in unit sales and a more than 8% decrease in dollar volume compared to 2018. July, August and September of this year more than made up for the lower numbers and after the third quarter, both unit sales and dollar volume are up more than 1 and 2% for the year. 

Inventory increased during the third quarter, which helped meet the demand, and most areas and price niches were well represented with available and desirable properties at all levels.

Luxury home sales, spanning from $2 million to $5 million, continue to be the driving force in overall sales increases, up more than 30% compared to a year ago. Bedroom communities in EagleVail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum were mixed with unit sales strong in the middle part of the valley and Gypsum. while Eagle saw fewer transactions than a year ago. 

While more homes were put on the market in the third quarter, inventory remains a challenge, with new construction and sought-after locations still commanding high prices. Going into the winter there is a renewed sense that our active market will continue through 2020.

What it means for sellers

Fall has been historically active in the resorts and should continue in 2019.

“Overall the resort inventory of homes available for sale is low mirroring the overall countywide market,” said Mark Weinreich, broker associate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. “Sellers have an opportunity to capitalize on the low inventory and continued demand. One word of advice for sellers of older homes is to take the time to stage for a fresh current look. Even with the low inventory of homes, buyers are selective and educated and expect their broker to be as well. Buyers will step up for updated and premium locations but will not overpay.” 

What it means for buyers

“While inventory remains low in the $300,000 to $600,000 range, we are now seeing more spec homes under construction in Gypsum and Eagle which means more inventory for buyers to choose from,” said Laurie Slaughter, also a broker associate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. “We expect demand to stay high in this price point so buyers must be prepared to make an offer quickly, including having pre-approval for financing from their lender.”

Looking ahead, the good news is interest has remained strong through the fall which bodes well for the holidays and winter season. Pending sales are up about 3 percent compared to last year so we expect year-end numbers to surpass 2018 and activity to remain strong throughout the coming year. 

Michael Slevin is the president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties.

Beaver Creek Community Profile

Beaver Creek Resort’s motto is “Not Exactly Roughing It” and those who choose to live in this gated, bespoke community certainly echo the sentiment. From the access to a wide variety of entertainment (both active and cultural) to its sweeping views and Alps-inspired homes, Beaver Creek might be as far from “roughing it” that the Vail Valley gets.

Entering through the gates gives a definitive sense of arrival. Wind past the international flags that wave in honor of the FIS World Ski Championships that have been held here and you’ll get a sense of the caliber of athleticism that is displayed here. Of course, the slopes are open to all; Beaver Creek is home to some of best beginners’ terrain-with-a-view in the state. Oh, and did we mention the cookies that are distributed daily? These chocolate chip masterpieces are a can’t miss end to the day before après. 

During the summer, these hills are alive with wildflowers and the sound of mountain bikers changing gears for challenging climbs and ascents. The Beaver Creek Hiking Center leads groups both small and large on excursions both short and epic. For those whose summers are measured by birdies and bogies, the Beaver Creek Golf Course provides challenging holes along with unparalleled views.

For those more culturally inclined, the opportunities are almost as expansive as the views. Home to the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC), world-class performances are just an escalator ride away. From Grammy-award winning singer/songwriters to internationally lauded performers, VPAC hosts a diverse blend of programming throughout the year.

Just as the amenities are varied, so are the real estate opportunities. Condominiums and fractional ownership opportunities exist in some of Beaver Creek’s most lauded hotels; single-family homes (that can fit several generations) are also available if you strike while the iron’s hot: These legacy properties are precious.

Community Map

Eagle County real estate dip continues through July

EAGLE COUNTY — The real estate mantra, “location, location, location,” is one of the oldest business truisms. These days, “inventory, inventory, inventory,” is having an effect on the local real estate market.

Even with a solid summer, real estate transactions and dollar volume — the value of those transactions — have dipped this year compared to 2018. The dip isn’t huge — about 10% in both cases — but is the valley’s strong real estate market starting to cool?

John Pfeiffer, the managing broker at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said Eagle County still has a “strong, stable” real estate market. Pfeiffer said some of the decline is due to natural fluctuations in the market. Some, though, is due to the lack of homes for sale across all sectors of the market.

According to data from the Vail Board of Realtors recently shared by Slifer Smith & Frampton broker Led Gardner, there were 1,060 active listings as of Sept. 9 on the county’s Multiple Listing Service. That’s a decline from the overall inventory number on the same date in 2018. Current listings roughly equal the number of sales through the end of July.

Lack of inventory a challenge

That relative lack of inventory means a number of potential buyers aren’t finding just what they want, so they stay out of the market.

But, Pfeiffer added, the right home at the right price moves quickly. The Lion, a new condo building in Vail, is selling well. The Riverfront Townhomes near the Westen Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon sold out quickly, and the remaining units at Avon’s Base Camp project sold out in about 40 days.

All of those projects are listed by Slifer Smith & Frampton.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, brokerage owner Michael Slevin agreed that lack of inventory can be a “challenge.”

And, he added, “What a healthy market will do is pause for a little bit. You don’t always have the luxury of pricing (above) the market.”

Slevin said despite the dip this year, he expects year-end numbers will be close to those posted for 2018.

And, while, local buyers account for about 55% of all transactions, “There are a lot of buyers in town right now,” Slevin said. “A lot will want to buy in advance of ski season.”

Still ‘very healthy’

Slevin agreed with Pfeiffer that the local market is “very healthy” at the moment. And, he added, while buyers and sellers are often influenced by state and national economic news, they also need to pay attention to what’s happening where they live, or want to buy.

“Real estate is very local,” Slevin said. “There can be large changes between certain areas.”

Pfeiffer agreed, saying it’s important to pay close attention to the market in Colorado and its communities.

“The (national) news isn’t focusing on the local market,” Pfeiffer said. “News on the coasts has no application to here.”

Pfeiffer acknowledged that the local market will hit a downturn at some point. But, he added, “there’s a difference between a downturn and a recession.”

And he added, “We still have the advantage over so many markets. People are always going to want to come to the Vail Valley. We’re so blessed with that advantage.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2930.