Vail Daily column: Two important questions |

Vail Daily column: Two important questions

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

We have decided to list our property for sale this spring/summer and need direction on the two decisions that we think are paramount in the success of our selling our home for the most money, which is of course our goal.

We would like some parameters for the following:

• How can we know when the best time to put the property on the market will be?

• How do we pick the best real estate agent when we know so many?

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Dear Soon-to-be-Seller,

I will address your No. 1 question first, although if you use the correct criteria for choosing your Realtor in No. 2, then your Realtor will be able to answer No. 1 for you. My answer to your first question is that the market is always a dynamic moving target. This year, I would say list right now. I don’t know all of the reasons, but 2015 has come out with a running start in sales. It may be the improved economy in general, the many spells of warmer weather, lots of sunshine and many sellers and buyers that wanted to get a jump on spring — we are never sure of all of the factors. We have had quite a few sellers talk about the aforementioned reasons for selling this summer, but they are still waiting for the actual beginning of the new season. They are guessing the market might continue to get better … but going off the law of supply and demand. The sellers that are waiting now may have a lot more competition in the next few months, which actually might reduce the money they will capture with their sale. The reduced inventory in certain segments of the valley is definitely helping the sellers right now.

Now back to the second question, which often seems difficult for sellers with lots of Realtor friends in the valley. If you look at it purely as a business decision (and a very important business decision!), then it becomes much easier. You want someone who is successful, happy and enthusiastic. These characteristics may seem like an interesting grouping, but they are actually an essential combination. First of all, according to a recent Harris Poll, only 33 percent of the population reports that they are very happy. And, according to the editor of, “happy people are more successful people.” So eliminate the two-thirds of your Realtor friends who are negative, complainers and gossiping victims of life’s circumstances. You are now looking at the one-third that are cheerful and optimistic. Have each one of them come to your home and interview them about what they think about the market, your home in relationship to the market and how they would go about marketing your home. If they speak mainly of print advertising, then I would say you are still looking. You want someone who will concentrate on all the facets of the Internet and social media coupled with copious high-quality photography to be placed on all of the Internet sites. I think by this time in your selection process you will know who will best protect your investment by working to get you the most money possible in today’s market. 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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