Vail Daily column: How does time on market affect pricing? |

Vail Daily column: How does time on market affect pricing?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I have been looking at second homes in the Vail Valley for over a year now and cannot seem to make the right offer on the right property with any success. Often my offer is fair, in my opinion, but not near the asking price. My Realtor always gives me comparable sales and I always look to see how many days the property has been on the market. I think that is valuable information to know how long a property has been for sale. Now, I am beginning to question my theories since I am still unsuccessful in getting a property that will work for me. I would like to hear your theory on the effect that “days on market” has on flexibility of the seller’s pricing.

Dear Days on Market,

Unfortunately for you, in our market, it may not have the positive effect that you are hoping for. It sounds like your theory is that the longer the property has been on the market the more willing the seller is to take a substantial price reduction. Although there is a slight chance this may prove to be true in a few cases, I would say that in general that is not true in our valley. Often it means the sellers are not highly motivated to sell, have chosen to just wait until someone really wants their property and/or they have the ability to wait for the market to catch up to their chosen price. When most of the country, and eventually this valley, fell into the housing recession and some prices dropped dramatically on homes in various areas, many of the financially secure sellers here simply removed their homes from the market and chose to wait until prices got better. They did not, and will not lower their prices from what they feel is a fair and equitable amount that they want, since they have no monetary pressure to sell.

Conversely, I am sure you have the theory that a newly listed property will probably not negotiate on their price if you offer in the first month or two. This may or may not be true. Sometimes sellers list because they either have to sell or they are highly motivated to sell because of a change in their lives, their family, their finances or they have found another property they want to buy right now. All these reasons can make them highly motivated sellers. One investment property we bought had sellers that were building another home. They did not want to move twice, so they waited until the new home was ready to be moved into and were quite flexible on price and terms that allowed them to have a quick close. I guess the best answer is to make sure you have a great Realtor that is your buyer’s agent that will give you all the pertinent information known to them to help you get where you want to go and purchase a great property at what you consider a great price. Best of luck to you!

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, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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