Market on pace for another record year, or close to it
The valley’s official real estate inventory is quite low, but the local real estate market is on another record-setting pace. How does that happen?
The answer can vary, by neighborhood, by price and, sometimes, by the broker involved.
Ron Byrne & Associates operates in the market’s upper reaches. Many of the homes that company lists don’t make it to the county’s Multiple Listing Service.
Company owner Ron Byrne said his firm’s approach is a “little more targeted” than some other companies.
Finding the right buyer for property in Vail often requires reaching out to people in destination markets, at high-end boat shows and other resorts, Byrne said.
“We work to get out to the most possible potential buyers,” Byrne said.
Steffan Mehnert is the team leader of Keller Williams Mountain Properties in Eagle County.
Mehnert said he’d looked at the Multiple Listing Service one day recently and found 283 listings. Another 18 listings came on the next day, along with 10 pending sales.
The service has been hovering around 275 available units for the past several months, Mehnert said. That’s roughly a month’s worth of inventory. A six-month supply is considered a “balanced” market.
Part of what’s keeping the market moving is word of mouth notice of new homes for sale, sometimes before they’re formally on the market. That talk is often between brokers, but sometimes between neighbors, Mehnert said.
While inventory’s tight, the units for sale seem to be holding steady, since some people appear to be ready to sell.
Michael Slevin, the owner and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said that if history is any indication, the valley is likely coming into its peak season, which lasts roughly into September most years.
The difference is time on the market, Slevin said. A traditional market will see homes last on the market for 30 to 90 days. In this market, many homes are selling in a day to two weeks, Slevin said.
Inventory is “so fluid,” Slevin said, and changing every day.
“On some levels you have to throw history out the window; on others, you hope it holds,” he added.
Not everything sells quickly
Not everything sells in a flash, with multiple offers and sales prices landing above asking prices.
Matt Fitzgerald, the Eagle County president of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, noted that a pair of Vail penthouses recently went under contract.
One, a penthouse at Solaris in Vail Village, was on the market for 277 days before it sold. The other, at the Arrabelle at Vail, was for sale for 229 days.
With units in the “ultra luxury” end of the market, “You never know when a buyer’s going to pop up,” Fitzgerald said.
Those recent sales “portend well for the summer,” he added.
With the market priced at $1.5 million or less still moving quickly, there’s still opportunity for sellers who have good assistance.
Brokers interviewed for this story recommended interviewing at least a couple of brokers before signing on with one.
“Good brokers really help facilitate the process,” Fitzgerald said.
Mehnert added that interviewing two or three brokers can help a potential seller understand the process and its potential pitfalls.
“It’s extremely competitive right now,” Mehnert. “There’s a lot of work going into (a sale).”
Slevin said it’s also important for a broker to have a lot of knowledge about a home’s location.
“Buyers and sellers really need to lean on their brokers for guidance,” Slevin said. “Going back six months is not a good indicator.