Consumer confidence is high for the Vail Valley Real Estate Market
Tips for successfully selling your mountain home during a time of physical distancing
Not all industries are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Real estate is proving to weather this storm as thoughtful Realtors® guide clients through the process of buying or selling a home with caution and respect that is ultimately leading to successful transactions in the Vail Valley.
A Great Time to Sell
There are several reasons why now is a great time to sell your home: mortgage rates remain at an all-time low, buyer demand is strong, inventory is low so your home will get more attention, and homeowner needs are evolving.
Kevin Kuebert, Chair-Elect for the Vail Board of Realtors®, shared his opinion in a recent conversation. Kuebert feels that a main motivator for clients choosing to make a move now is a need for more space and a desire for change.
“Remote working and online learning play a big role in this decision. Families are taking a close look at how their homes may or may not be adequately serving those needs. Homeowners are examining the equity earned in their homes to assess whether they can make a move up the property ladder,” says Kuebert. Adding, “It’s not only COVID that is motivating the market, tension in metropolitan areas is also a factor. The Vail Valley offers a safe respite from continued unrest in the cities with access to outdoor recreation and the ability to physically distance naturally.”
Best Practices for Sellers
Low inventory can be traditionally good for sellers as this increases market competition; however, sellers should still follow best practices if they want the process to move quickly and efficiently. These practices include following your Realtor’s guidance on de-cluttering and beautifying or “staging” the home, make sure there are great photos or even a virtual tour available to buyers, and most importantly, price the home according to the true value and current comparable sales.
“We provide sellers with an initial list of items to de-clutter, then we go through and review the home a second time and make sure it’s ready for photos and to hit the market,” says Kuebert. “We look at every aspect of the home, interior and exterior and make recommendations.”
There is a lot of activity in the market that started as soon as stay-at-home restrictions were progressively lifted. “Right now, pending sales from June are up while closings are on track and continue to process in a timely manner with minimal delays. Any home in the under $700,000 range that has been properly prepped for the market will not sit on the market too long. If it does, we know quickly that the home could be overpriced,” says Kuebert.
Safe Virtual Showings
With the availability of advanced technology such as 3D Matterport cameras, “sight unseen” transactions have been on the rise. Clients can enjoy virtual tours to get a great sense of a home during their search. In Kuebert’s experience, “Good photos are key in capturing the buyer’s initial attention however it has been Facetime or some other form of a live video showing that has given our clients the confidence to buy the home without physically walking through it. Since we have been able to show homes again, I have done many of these tours.”
In addition to virtual and live video walk throughs, the Vail Board of Realtors® has created and committed to the Safe Showing Pledge for all open houses and private showings. The complete list of commitments is listed on VBR.net including but not limited to the following: adhere to social distancing guidelines, keeping a detailed log of home visitors
for use as needed in contact tracing, sanitizing high- touch surfaces, traveling separately from clients, asking clients about symptoms, and of course, staying home if the Realtor® themselves is experiencing symptoms.
With a lack of inventory, median home sale prices continue to be higher than last year by 7.2 percent. And, the percent of list price received remains consistent. This illustrates that Realtors® are working hard to present homes realistically and thoughtfully to the market.
Tips for Buyers
These important numbers lead to our final tip to buyers: be prepared to make an offer. According to lender statistics, mortgage applications are up approximately 20 percent with low rates, refinances, and general market activity. For serious buyers, pre-approval sends a confident message to sellers and could be a stand-out if there are multiple offers on the table.
In order for transactions to move smoothly, look into a local lender and secure pre-approval for a loan if the plan includes one. According to Kuebert, “Lenders have the potential to affect the closing process and timing. For those looking to secure a mortgage, an outside lender could slow the process down.”
If you are interested in changing your environment, getting more square footage to make life more comfortable, or have been considering
a move for a while, contact a trusted Realtor® and feel confident in the safe and secure guidance these professionals can provide for you. Learn more at VBR.net.