Ask a Realtor: Can we downsize by the end of the year? |

Ask a Realtor: Can we downsize by the end of the year?

Mike Budd
Real Estate

Dear Mike: My wife and I are Vail homeowners and empty nesters. We’d like to downsize from our current home, which is larger than our needs, and buy a smaller home in the Vail Valley. Our hope is to have our existing home sold and a new one under contract by the end of the year. Is this reasonable timing?  Are there any factors that we should consider as a seller and buyer? 

— Empty Nesters

Dear Empty Nesters: While the average number of days on the market varies by price range, the current ballpark for homes in the $750,000 to $1.5 million mark is approximately six months. 

That being said, there are a number of factors that can make the turnaround time shorter or longer, including the asking and listing price.  If your current home and the one you would like to buy are priced appropriately based on current market value, and mortgage rates remain favorable if you are financing, it is reasonable to expect you could meet your goal by year’s end.

The good news for you and what most people do not realize is both buyer and seller need to ask similar questions of their broker. First and foremost, do a market analysis and determine opportunity within your price ranges and then establish attainable goals. These would include the aforementioned pricing, inventory, days on the market based on home value(s) and any other goals you and your wife have that should be considered, like location and access to other amenities or services.

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Second, review pricing niches and market share for each niche. Based on a similar category range of the $750K to $1.5M noted above, there are fewer discrepancies than if you are selling or buying at a much higher (over $1.5M) or less (under $700K).  This will also help provide a more accurate assessment of inventory and opportunity. 

Another factor to look at is the desirability of the market areas where you are selling and buying as well as design, age, size and condition. These all directly correlate to determining the appropriate price for a listing or making an offer. The closer the listing price and offer is to the actual market value, the more likely each home will go under contract and close in a reasonable amount of time.

Once these have been determined, it’s important to develop a marketing plan to make sure that everyone agrees on the strategy.  A plan also allows accountability on both ends so that adjustments, as needed, can be made and communicated in a timely manner.

Communication is key and should be a two-way street, not a one-lane highway. By being clear about your goals and priorities and understanding that the market will respond much more favorably with accurate pricing, your broker will be in a much better position to help you sell and purchase a new home within a reasonable time period. Good luck!

Mike Budd is a 19-year Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties veteran, specializing in residential and commercial real estate, including being named Vail Board REALTOR of the Year in 2016.  A Vail Valley resident for 21 years, Budd has seen the Vail Valley evolve into one of the most desirable resort/lifestyle communities in the world. Contact Budd with your real estate questions at,  970-376-4511 or

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