Q&A: Aaron Winberry of Independence Realty
Aaron Winberry is a Realtor® with Independence Realty. After living in Vail for seven years, he moved to Leadville, allowing him to cater to a wide range of clients, whether they’re looking for luxury second homes in Vail or more affordable living in Lake or Chaffee counties.
How long have you been a Realtor®, and what motivated you to become one?
Around 2008, I started doing broker price opinions for a couple of small companies and shortly thereafter started working for a bank on the home finance side of things. Quickly I realized I liked the more hands-on, out-in-the-field approach when it came to things like the build quality of homes and what’s good or bad, and passing that onto the clients. I was working more face-to-face than I was in finance and found it much more fulfilling.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Knowing that buying or selling a home can be a super stressful endeavor (from personal experience) and trying to eliminate that as much as possible for my clients is rewarding.
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How do you help reduce the stress of buying or selling a home?
First, I just listen to what they want, whether selling or buying. Being pushy will never work in any situation, and that’s speaking again from personal experience. One thing I tell my buyers is that if you’ve had your heart set on a house you’ve been interested in and you don’t get it for whatever reason, don’t worry: You will get the house you really want and will be glad you didn’t get the one you originally thought you wanted. It’s the rule, without a doubt.
How do you bridge the gap for people who want homes in the Vail Valley, as well as those who are looking for more space or land in Lake and Chaffee counties?
Again, I think it comes down to listening to people and helping them sift through what they really want and expect in mountain living. Some people want a small place with a five-minute bus ride to the chairlift so they can ski or ride five days a week. Some people want more land and silence and are fine with driving once a week to ski. That’s the most simple breakdown, but listening and sharing the personal experiences I’ve had in both of those situations I find helps clients the most.
How would you describe the market right now?
As we sit here at the beginning of 2023, I’d say the market is fairly slow. We see properties sitting on the market longer than they were a year ago and prices coming down more than they were a year ago. Homes being priced right is key, and they will sell.
What do you advise buyers who are waiting for prices to level out or go down?
If they want a place then they want to act on it. No one knows what the market is really going to do. There is no guarantee prices are going down. Interest rates may not go down. Everyone’s situation is different when it comes to loans or if you’re a cash buyer.
What do you advise sellers, in terms of preparing to sell their home?
Consult with your Realtor® to see if there is anything important that sticks out that can be improved upon. First impressions make the difference, and even small cosmetic improvements make a huge difference.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In the winter you can find me snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek, which are the two mountains where I really cut my teeth as a young man living in Vail. In the summer, there’s nothing better than to open my garage door and head out on my dirt bike to enjoy the endless trail riding Lake County has to offer.