Eagle County Real Estate Market Report: Buyer demand up despite inventory challenges
With the winter season (mostly) behind us and looking ahead to spring and summer, it’s important to note that closed sales (down from 2022) and a slower market pace are not reflective of buyer demand. Low inventory levels continue to put pressure on sales. As a more historic market comes into focus, there should be a relief for pent-up demand as inventory levels generally increase when the winter season and school years end and the weather warms.
The upside for sellers is that prices continue to remain strong throughout the valley and those who are pricing at market value are still receiving high interest and close to list price (and in some cases, still over with multiple offers). Days on the market in April also declined from March and the list price to sale price ratio increased. Those are both indications of a strong market for sellers.
Although there are macro signs of an economic slowdown on the horizon, the real estate market may likely buck the trend. Historically, prices have not meaningfully declined, and many markets may continue to see prices increase, though not at the pace of the past few years. Mortgage interest rates have also fallen in the last six recessions, which would be a benefit to home buyers and those looking to move within the valley.
What it means for buyers and sellers:
According to Kyle Denton, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties’ Vail Village office, buyers should find a growing number of opportunities, particularly as the peak summer selling season approaches. Denton notes that sellers are becoming more strategic with their pricing, depending on their overall strategy and sales timeframe. What does this mean for buyers?
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“There is some potential room for negotiation,” Denton said. “While sellers might be hesitant to accept a below-list price offer as they might be perceived as being priced over the market, it doesn’t mean they aren’t open to negotiating. This is where knowing the right questions to ask can yield the best outcome.”
As for sellers, Denton said activity is typically a little slower coming out of ski season and to be patient.
“As we head into June and the summer months we should see increased buyer interest and activity. That being said, we are competing with growing international travel interest and some economic uncertainty, which is causing buyers to be more methodical in their analysis and overall decision-making process,” Denton said. “Valid and accurate analysis of the current market conditions relative to each property is paramount and could mean the difference between a successful sale and your property sitting on the market longer than anticipated.”
Mid- to downvalley
Rick Messmer, a managing broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties’ Eagle office, notes there are a number of factors sellers must be mindful of right now that a year ago did not have to consider. The first is price.
“One must price to today’s market,” Messmer said. “Buyers are savvier and are not willing to pay whatever price a seller thinks their house is worth. It must be in line with market value, or the home will likely sit with few if any offers.”
The second factor Messmer notes is the condition of the home.
“The days where inspections were waived and the home could be in any condition and frenzied people would still fall all over themselves to get into a home are gone,” Messmer said. “Do any needed upkeep and repairs to your home before listing it, including cleaning, decluttering, and staging your home to look its absolute best.”
Messmer notes that today’s buyers are willing to wait for the right home at the right price.
“Price your home correctly and you will get your listing price or maybe more,” he said. “If you miss the market on the price, adjust quickly. The market will tell you in a matter of days, not months if you are overpriced.”
For buyers, Messmer notes the importance of having all your financial ducks in a row.
“The right-priced homes are still in high demand so being able to make an offer on the same day is important,” Messmer said.
He also notes to avoid lowball offers.
“Sellers are not desperate and if the home is priced fairly, someone else will see the true value and you will likely miss out on that home,” Messmer said. “If a property is overpriced but fits all your needs, you might have to wait until the market tells the seller their price needs correction. Rarely will a seller take significantly less than the list price immediately after bringing the home to market.”
Michael Slevin is the president and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, started by his father, John, 52 years ago. The company has grown to 12 offices in 10 communities, spanning from Grand and Eagle Counties to the Western Slope.