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Ask a Realtor: How do I maximize my asking price?

Thalia Leiva and Alida Zwaan
Ask a Realtor
Recently remodeled, this free-standing, three bedroom, three bathroom, 1,595-square-foot townhome at 4800 Meadow Drive, Riverbend #21, in East Vail, features vaulted ceilings with sunlit windows and open space views and access. The great room opens into a gourmet kitchen, which looks out to a private outdoor patio. Additional owner benefits include access to the Vail Racquet Club offering an outdoor heated pool, hot tub, fitness center and cozy restaurant. Listed by Alida Zwaan with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, the home attracted buyers from Denver to Mexico City and sold over list price for $1.82 million in February 2022.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties/Courtesy photo

Dear Thalia and Alida: With ski season winding down and looking ahead to the spring/summer selling season, I’m wondering what I can do to maximize my asking price and appeal to buyers. I have heard varying recommendations on what to do (or not) to get my home sale ready and would appreciate your input. — Getting Ready to Sell

Dear Getting Ready to Sell: You are wise to start planning ahead, and yes, there are several things you can do that are affordable and add a lot to your home’s overall presentation and appeal to buyers, as well as your ability to maximize the sale price.

Working with an experienced real estate broker versus for sale by owner has been proven by the National Realtors Association to net up to $60,000 more in sellers’ pockets than those who try to sell their home on their own, even after the commission is paid. And this doesn’t even factor in the time savings for sellers in terms of marketing (and that expense), listings, open houses, contract negotiations, and closing.



This 1,652-square-foot, three bedroom, two bath ranch style home at 132 Brook Trout Loop in Dotsero offers breathtaking views including a backyard pond and wilderness playground. Newly built in 2019, the owners made additional upgrades, including built-out closets, new flooring, light fixtures, baseboards, and painted kitchen cabinets, resulting in an additional $20,000 over list price for the sellers. The home was listed by Thalia Leiva of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties for $539,000 and sold for $552,000 on March 11, 2022.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties/Courtesy photo

Declutter, declutter, declutter

Yes, most homes can be sold right now without having to do a thing but remember you will usually make a lot more from the sale of your home by decluttering. Cleaning up landscaping and the front entrance are good places to start. Inside, removing personal items and pairing down excess furnishings and other household items, including cleaning off counter tops, and removing photos are critical. Considering some fresh interior paint if there are a lot of marks and wear, all help the new buyer imagine themselves living in what you want them to see as their new home — not yours. Most people are very visual, so by doing even the basic things you’re maximizing your home’s appeal to multiple buyers.

Conveniently located in the heart of Lionshead Village and steps to the Eagle-Bahn ski lift, this two bedroom, two bath, 1,115-square-foot condo at 548 S. Frontage Road, Westwind #104, features remodeled bathrooms, new carpet, blinds, and kitchen appliances as well as building updates. An interior patio area offers lounge area and fire pit with additional amenities including an exercise room, hot tub, pool and private ski/storage locker adjacent to the heated underground parking. The property is newly listed by Alida Zwaan with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties for $1,679,800.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties/Courtesy photo

A picture is worth a thousand words

Having high-quality photography is paramount, which now includes Matterport videos that offer a digital and thorough walk through your home. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression and that usually begins online, with buyers looking and coming from all parts of the country and world. Equally important is that you use a professional photographer and possibly a staging artist who knows how to showcase each room in its best light and make it look model home ready.



A good real estate broker should provide you with a list of items to remove and store — both for photo sessions and showings. These include but are not limited to removing everything from the kitchen counters, hiding trash cans, storing animal food and bedding (and removing odors for showings), hiding TV controls, having beds perfectly made, and turning on all the lights.

While this is just an overview, the point to remember is less is more when it comes to personal items and even small changes yield big results — money in your pocket. Visual appeal goes a long way in attracting buyers and maximizing your return on investment.

Good luck with your sale.


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