Ask a Realtor: Is it harder to sell a home in the Vail Valley when the snow isn’t falling? (column) |

Ask a Realtor: Is it harder to sell a home in the Vail Valley when the snow isn’t falling? (column)

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: How badly are all of the sellers in the Vail Valley going to be impacted by no snow this year? Everyone speaks of Vail as being the “golden goose” that lays the “golden eggs” for the success of all the businesses and, of course, the real estate market. Without the draw of our great skiing, are buyers going to be weary of buying here and/or not even come to the valley this year?

I am looking for something positive, since I have been waiting for this winter to put my property on the market and sell. Do you have any encouraging words of wisdom?

— No Snow

Dear No Snow: First of all, we prefer to call it “late snow,” which has happened many years since Vail opened in 1962. I can give you many reasons not to worry, and the best reason is that worrying never seems to help anything.

The ski and snowboard business, along with snowmobiling, dog sledding, cross-country and snowshoeing obviously have been delayed and are creating “pent up” demand. The snow will come, and snowsport enthusiasts will be here when the snow arrives.

In the meantime, there are many more wonderful things to enjoy in our “extended fall,” including shopping in the stores and for homes. I was with my friend, who has successfully sold real estate in Aspen for more than 20 years, and he told me they, too, were very busy because current homeowners and guests are skiing less and they have more time to look at their listings.

Once the snow arrives, the clients will be very busy, followed by exhausted afternoons and evenings. Luckily, not everyone comes for the skiing and snowsports. Many love the fine dining, the cold, crisp days and nights and the exciting cultural and seasonal events.

As a side note, those of us who have clients for outlying properties and ranches have had the pleasure of easy access into December this year, and the clients are taking advantage of seeing the land now. Normally, when we have buyers whom we show in the winter by snowshoe, snowmobile or, occasionally, helicopter, they almost always want to come back when they can actually see the “dirt.”

Right now, a ranch buyer can actually see the “dirt” and get a true sense of if they are interested in a property or not because they are seeing it at the “ugliest” time. We say “ugliest,” as the vegetation is leafless and dormant and there is no snow covering the ground for that beautiful wintertime sparkle, but we tell them the snow will be here soon — it is just late.

Do not panic; there still is not a better place to be than right here in the Vail Valley for the winter season. 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. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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