Brokers: A single sale wont a Vail Valley market make |

Brokers: A single sale wont a Vail Valley market make

Scott N. Millersmiller@vaildaily.comVail CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado The person who sold a condo in Beaver Creek and a house in Arrowhead at a Tuesday auction in the Vail Valley moved his units but may have paid a price.Grand Estates Auction sold the units after both had been on the market for some time. More than 40 bidders turned out for the sale.Earlier this week, Grand Estates founder Val DeVine said the sales set a new benchmark for real estate prices in those neighborhoods.Other people in the local real estate business beg to differ.One sale doesnt create a market either low or high, appraiser Tim Savage said. Savage has been an appraiser in the valley for more than 18 years. He said that hed need at least three sales of comparable property in a particular neighborhood to accurately set property values.Savage also said those sales would have to be arms-length sales, meaning that the sales didnt involve either financial trouble or personal problems such as death or divorce on the part of the seller.I wont use a sale like that in an appraisal for another property, Savage said. In the case of the Tuesday auction, a couple of local brokers said the buyers may have done a bit better than the seller did.The condo at Beaver Creek sold for about $285,000 less than its original sale price in 2006. The Arrowhead home sold for about $200,000 more than its 2002 sale price.In the case of the Beaver Creek place, the price per square foot was between $50 and $125 off the prices for the most recent sales there, broker Rick Pirog said.Id say that the buyers in both cases got a very good buy, Pirog said.But the seller also got rid of two Vail Valley properties in one afternoon.An auction is a good process if you need liquidity, said Jim Flaum, president of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate. But if you expose a property over time, a seller will probably do better.While auctions tend to draw crowds, Pirog said those people even the ones who can write a refundable $50,000 check just to get a bidders paddle are generally looking for bargains.Pirog took a client to both auctions Tuesday, and that client finished with the second-highest bid both times. By the end of the auction, there were only two or three people left, he said.The buyers wanted a nice place at a good price, and thats what they got, Pirog said.But both Pirog and Flaum are convinced the seller left several hundred thousand dollars on the table by selling at auction.Sellers willing to wait will probably get those higher prices, Pirog said.Were still in good shape in Eagle County, he said. Our supply isnt getting out of whack, and theres still a limited amount of product. There are 1,600 or 1,700 properties on the market right now, and thats about what sells in a year.From an appraisers standpoint, Savage said county property values arent climbing right now, but are stable, with some exceptions.These were spot deals, not overall market prices, Flaum said. It will be a long time until you find another sale at that level.Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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