Vail Daily column: Is this really a seller’s market? | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Is this really a seller’s market?

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan,

Why is everyone saying this is such a hot sellers' market? I have had my home on the market for two years and I am still looking for the first offer.

I have had two different Realtors, with the same results. Everyone, including the Realtors, tell me it is a beautiful home. Twice we have had "stagers" tell us to get bright towels and roll up our wash clothes on the sink and we have followed their instructions. We have dropped the price twice, but still no luck. I think the hot market must just be for certain areas or certain price ranges, and not more than $1 million for sure. My price is more than $1 million but well below $2 million, so what is up with this "fake sellers' market news"?

Dear Confused,

Economists, newspaper writers and Realtors often talk in generalities. However, real estate is always local, and in a small community such as our valley, it is very specific.

You are right — it is about location and pricing. Yes, overall we are having a great year and March was better than last year's March. More buyers are out looking, but often for less expensive homes than above the million-dollar mark. Lower-end homes, less than $500,000 can move very quickly and anything around $300,000 can have multiple offers.

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If you look at the statistics, of the 294 transactions that have taken place this year in the valley, 109 of them were under $500,00 and 90 of them under $1 million.

Now, I don't know where your property is located, but let me give you a couple of examples. If you look at small segments of the market, say Beaver Creek single family homes, there are 31 on the market (all more than $2 million) and four have sold in the last six months, all more than $1 million. Therefore, you could say that there is almost four years of inventory of single family homes in Beaver Creek right now, if nothing else comes on the market and sales don't speed up this summer.

If you look in the western part of the valley, say in Eagle Ranch, there are 20 single family homes on the market, of which 12 are more than $1 million. Three homes sold there in the last six months for more than $1 million and one is currently under contract to sell, so you might say that they have about 1.5 years of inventory for single family homes over $1 million, discounting new inventory or increased sales volume.

My advice to you is the same as it has been in good times and slow times — be the best price value, and be the shiniest apple: that always works. Tell your Realtor you want the honest truth on what you should do to make your property more attractive to today's buyers (not necessarily what you like) and what list price it would take to get an offer in the next 90 days, then follow that advice. 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 Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.