Real estate column: Guidance for winter house shopping |

Real estate column: Guidance for winter house shopping

Sean de Moraes

“Don’t you work?” is a question I hear often on a Tuesday powder day at Sunlight as I’m checking my emails, looking at the daily hot sheet and returning phone calls before I have to unload from the chairlift. God love the iPhone. Thanks Mr. Jobs! Yes, I do work; we all do. And when you clock out for the day is when our day really gets rolling.

True, winter is generally a slower time in real estate, but it shouldn’t be. If you’re in the market to buy or sell this year, don’t give your broker a winter break. It could be the best time to make a deal.

For potential buyers, there are properties that have been on the market for some time for one reason or another. If there is a home you’ve been keeping an eye on, contact your broker and ask about it.

Sellers who have had their homes on the market may be more motivated as the winter months have settled in and they are thinking about what homes will be coming available in the coming months. A seller may be willing to negotiate a bit more and move their property so they are in a better position to purchase a new home without dealing with a house sale contingency, in turn making their offer less desirable to a seller.

As for sellers, waiting until spring may not be the best decision. Winter can prove to be a great time to list your home for sale and introduce it to the market. The buyers who are out looking are generally more serious and may be a bit discouraged that they didn’t find their perfect home last summer and are ready to jump.

With lower inventory and the memories of last fall’s prices, you may be able to aid in setting the market a bit for the coming spring/summer season. Historically, in the Glenwood Springs market, many of the higher end homes that have sold go under contract in the winter/spring months. To prove it, if we look back at the last year, 20 single-family homes in Glenwood with asking prices of over $700,000 sold. Ten of them went under contract between November and April.

In recapping the 2016 market compared with 2015:

In Glenwood Springs, single-family home prices were flat with an average sales price of $506,000. The number of transactions and dollar volume were both up 7 percent with 152 transactions and $77 million in sales.

The condo/townhouse/duplex market sales volume was down 27 percent as inventory was much lower this past year, offering fewer opportunities. However, supply and demand proved healthy for sellers, as the sold volume was down 19 percent with a total of almost $17 million, but the average price was $281,000, resulting in an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

New Castle had a strong year in the single-family market with an average sales price of $387,000, up 10 percent, dollar volume up 16 percent at almost $39 million, and the number of transactions was up 5 percent with 100 units sold. Where New Castle really shined was in the condo/townhouse/duplex market. Sales volume was up a staggering 74 percent at $16 million with an average sales price up 17 percent at $238,000 and 67 units sold resulting in a 47 percent increase.

(Statistics taken from the Aspen-Glenwood Multiple Listing Service)

Sean de Moraes’ real estate column appears on the first Friday of each month. He is an agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s.

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