Ask A Realtor: When will the mountain market hit its peak?
Sellers seek to maximize their gains
Dear Tisa and Larry,
My family and I are considering selling our vacation property in the mountains. I know that inventory is limited and buyer demand is strong. Prices continue to rise and I want to maximize my return. When do you think the market will hit its peak so that I can sell “at the top”?
—Height of the Market Seller
Dear Height of the Market Seller,
Your market timing question is one we are hearing more and more about as sellers seek to maximize their gains.
Like most things, timing to sell at the top of the market is very challenging. It’s like predicting the stock market. It really comes down to taking a close look at what you hope to achieve with the sale of your home and what will make it financially worthwhile for you to sell it. The other caveat is where you are going to live once you do sell. Are you planning to look for another home in the valley or elsewhere? The safest way to play this game is to sell once you have a new place to move into, if in fact, moving into a new home is part of your plan.
Another key factor to consider are your tax ramifications particularly if it is a vacation home. This is where speaking with a trusted financial advisor is important.
While the financial return is the most tangible part of a sale, it’s important to remember the value your original purchase brought to you and your family in the time you have owned your home. These memories have their own value and while we all want to sell at the height of a market, it’s important to make your next move when the timing is right for you. This also includes what you will be happy with when you decide to sell.
As for expectations on where the market is going for 2021, based on current buyer demand and limited supply, we anticipate the Vail Valley and Down Valley markets will continue to see price appreciation, a trend that is expected in other resort areas based on current activity. It is also widely anticipated that interest rates should remain low for the year, which will help home buyers and should keep our market activity strong.
But we have learned from the past that the market may and can correct quickly. The housing bubble and subsequent recession caused an expedited market response as did the events of 2020 getting to this upside. While steady market activity is preferred, we are at the whim of more macro-events that could potentially change the real estate landscape here in the valley and around the country.
Our advice to you is to sell your property when you and your family decide it is time. While many homes have reached an all-time high in value, it’s too difficult to determine if we’ve reached our peak for now or if we might start to see a dip or leveling off. The market is constantly changing – at times faster than at others. Values in October 2020 are not necessarily those of February 2021.
Reach out to your trusted advisor and local real estate broker and have them give you a current value for your property. If the value feels “right” then we encourage you to consider listing your home for sale. If you are hoping for a higher price for the property, waiting may be a good idea, but all markets change and finding the top is as challenging as determining the timing for the bottom. You may see other similar properties trade for more but then again, they might start trading for less. Do what is right for you and we suspect the outcome will be a positive one.
Good luck with your decision,
Tisa and Larry
Tisa Olsen and Larry Agneberg are 40+ year Vail Valley residents who also each bring more than 30 years’ real estate industry experience as award-winning broker associates for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. Olsen’s honors include a 2020 Leading Edge Award for gross commission income and units sold as well as being a consistently top producer. Agneberg’s accolades include past-president of the Vail Board of Realtors, Vail Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year, and a perennial member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Chairman’s Diamond Circle, a coveted award bestowed upon the top one percent of all associate brokers. They can be reached at email@example.com or 970.471.1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or 970.376.7100.