Seller Tips

Throw the Supply/Demand Theory Out the Window …at Least for Now

by Doug Labor ~  At the conclusion of 2014, the Steamboat Springs real estate market posted its fifth best year on record. Should the direction the second half of 2015 continue like the first, 2015 just may take over that recognition. With the first half of 2015 in the record books, the Steamboat Springs MLS posted 441 transactions, bettering 2014’s mark of 438. More notable, however, is on the supply side, where a 7% decline in listings occurred. Ask any economist and they will tell you as demand increases and supply decreases, prices increase. However, that has not happened, as yet, as 2015 prices in most property types have remained consistent with those of 2014. Steamboat Springs real estate market With the drop in listings and near-equal sales, the supply versus demand dynamic should have resulted in higher property values. Conversely, overall Dollar Volume dropped 6% to $200 million, resulting in a 7% decline in the Average Price to $454,000. Median Price also slipped, from $316,000 to $309,000. In spite of a general drop in prices, foreclosures have continued to make up less of the market, as bank-owned real estate activity declined 25% in the first half of 2015, to only 25 transactions.       So that is a look at the general market. Here’s what is happening in the four most popular property types:

Single Family Residences

In comparing all property types, the 12% decline in purchases of single family residences (SFR) was the biggest surprise, from 142 in 2014 to 125 in 2015. Median Price declined substantially from $528,750 in 2014 to $394,000 in 2015…a 25% drop. This could be from a shift, geographically, away from the more expensive Steamboat Springs and South Valley areas. Purchases in these areas declined from 75 to 56, but the number of buyers in outlying areas increased slightly from 67 to 69 from 2014 to 2015. The sales decline in these two areas could have occurred from lower inventories or possibly higher list prices. Average dollar-per-square foot values in these areas, however, which is a common benchmark used for determining real estate value, saw a slight increase, from 2014 ($296/sf) to 2015 ($307/sf). Stagecoach SFR’s enjoyed the greatest increase in activity, from 8 to 13 (63%), and $/sf values increased by $1.00 to $140/sf. Purchases of SFR foreclosures dropped from 18 to 15.

Town Homes

One additional town home was purchased in 2015 (67) than in 2014. Median Price declined 17% in 2015, to $367,250, and $/sf values followed suit, going from $267/sf to $253/sf. The first half of 2014 saw seven purchases over $1m, while only two occurred in 2015.


Condos were the only residential property type that posted a Median Price increase…and it was a substantial 17% bump, to $290,000. This could be partly due to the fact that the bottom of the condo market is moving up. In 2014, ten were purchased at a price point under $100,000. 2015 had only three. A 23% decline (40 to 31) was also seen in the next higher price range of $100k to $200k. Correspondingly, activity increased in the $300k to $400k range by 64% to 23. Purchases above $1m remained relatively steady, from 10 to 11 in 2015. Total condo activity was two better in 2015 (117) than 2014.


The most substantial improvement in activity of any property type was in land, which increased from 52 transactions to 76, a 46% increase. This could be a result of the lack of SFR inventory and the increase of SFR list prices. Median price Steamboat Springs real estate marketsaw a mod- est 4% increase to $187,497, but there were five purchases of $1m or over in 2015, up from only one the prior year. Land activity is typically highest in mid to late summer.


It is only reasonable to expect that as inventory continues to be depleted and demand continues to increase, that prices will have to move upward. As of yet that does not seem to be the case, giving buyers an opportunity to make their move before any change may occur.

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ABOUT DOUG… Doug Labor has over 30 years of re estate experience, including executive level positions with some of the largest ski and golf resorts in North America He is the General Manager of Sotheby’s downtown Steamboat Springs office. What he enjoys most in his real estate practice is providing imaginative, yet logical and valuable guide in helping clients reach their goals. industry knowledge and service has clients and peers as one of the premier brokers in Steamboat, with the 2005 and 2014 Steamboat Springs REALTOR of the Year and 2012 and 2014 “Best of the Boat” Real Estate Agent awards. Doug’s clients appreciate his unsurpassed market knowledge and keen negotiating skills working for them, as well as the professional work ethic and personal care he delivers to each and every client, no matter if they are in the luxury or introductory market.


The Seller’s List Of 25 Easy Fix-Ups

The condition of your home will have a huge impact on how fast it sells, and its eventual selling price. Preparing your home for sale can pay you huge dividends. Many fix ups cost very little and consist mostly of time and some elbow grease. Here are some simple tips to help your home show its best.


  1. Clean the entire home thoroughly. Shampoo carpets, wash walls, clean sills, window screens and blinds. Clean out light fixtures and dust shelving. Get detailed here.
  2. Clean the clutter from all closets, cupboards and cabinets.
  3. Make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Store unnecessary furnishing items that make your home look crowded.
  4. Arrange furnishing so that it is easy to walk through your home.
  5. Scale down the number of photos, pictures, portraits and posters hanging on walls. Make sure you patch all nail and screw holes.
  6. Keep your curtains and draperies open as a rule. You will want your home to show very light and bright. Find ways to screen any unappealing views.
  7. Make your kitchen shine. Remove clutter from counter tops and cabinets and store it. Keep your sink clean and clear of any dirty dishes.
  8. Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Make sure that you do the simple things like putting an open box of baking soda in your fridge. Also, remove unnecessary clutter from the door.
  9. Clean your oven. Degrease it and keep it looking as good as possible.
  10. Keep scented candles burning in the kitchen and bathrooms. Pleasant fragrances will entice buyers to stay longer in your home.
  11. Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy with fresh soap and neatly hung towels. Try to color coordinate your bathrooms.
  12. Keep all sinks in the home clean and repair leaks or slow drains.
  13. Go through your entire home and touch up paint. Pay close attention to corners where there is traffic wear. Touch up baseboards, trim and cabinets and cupboards.
  14. Place plants or flower arrangements in strategic parts of the home. A splash of color from plants, flowers, pillows or small rugs can give your home some real flair.
  15. Make sure that your home is well lit. Put higher wattage bulbs in dark areas or corners. Keep all lights on during showings, even in mid day.
  16. Use mirrors on walls if necessary to reflect light and make rooms look larger.
  17. Make sure that all door knobs and keyed entries are working. Replace any worn knobs or handles.


    1. Clean up all around the house. Remove any debris piles such as wood, firewood and landscape trimmings. Trim all hedges, bushes and shrubbery away from the house. Keep all garden beds weeded and mulched.
    2. Put some color by your home’s entrance with potted flowers. Keep them watered and looking attractive.
    3. Keep all walkways clear, clean and in good repair. This includes your driveways and any parking areas.
    4. Keep all outdoor furniture clean and in good repair


  1. Clean your gutters and roof. Keep moss or algae from growing on, in or around them.
  2. Keep your yard and lawn areas clean and in good health. A green lawn makes a home look great. Keep your lawn edged and free from weeds.
  3. Repair any broken windows, screens, shutter or awnings.
  4. Clean your garage area. Remove clutter and make it look organized and as spacious as possible. Try to have nothing in your garage but cars.

By following these 25 fix up tips, you can do a lot to increase the perceived value of your home and make it stand out above the competition!

Avoid The Top 10 Selling Mistakes

    Serious about selling your home? Before you sign anything, read about these common mistakes that home sellers make:

  1. Pricing Too High: It’s no secret, price is everything. Overpricing does more to discourage buyers than any other single factor. When you overprice, you put your home in competition with homes that may be newer, larger or have more amenities than yours. You help your competition sell their home. This leads to long days on the market, and costs you, the seller, money in the long run. Make sure you get your pricing advice from a professional agent who knows the market.
  2. Poor Condition: A home that is in ill repair, or otherwise poor condition, does not excite buyers. A home like this is looked at by buyers as a work project and money pit. Having your home in good repair and great showing condition will significantly improve your chances for a sale at top dollar value. Having your home pre-inspected by a termite and dry rot inspector will also have a positive impact on buyers.
  3. Poor Curb Appeal:Most buyers today want to drive by. If your home is an attractive drive-by, it will gain more attention and certainly more showings. Doing the little things to help your home’s curb appeal will make a huge difference.
  4. Dreary Dark Homes Don’t Sell: Buyers like updated, light and bright homes. Dark carpets, paint, and curtains are often buyer turn-offs. Go through your home and remove clutter; touch up and update paint, counter tops, and carpets. Open your home up and make sure the sun shines in. Offensive odors from pets and smoking are also huge turn-offs to most buyers. Rid your home of offensive smells by burning scented candles and create a pleasant aroma. The most important rooms to concentrate on are the living room, family room, kitchen and master bedroom. Your entire home’s atmosphere is set off by these rooms.
  5. >Don’t Over-improve: Get your home in good showing condition, but don’t over do it. Huge projects such as complete remodels of kitchens, adding decks, and expanding room sizes may not pay back your investment. Before you jump into a huge improvement project, get some good advice. >Be Financeable: Bad roofs, exterior paint, or structural problems may make your home un-financeable. The wider the scope of financing that your home can qualify for, the higher the overall market value. Remember — government programs like VA and FHA will be the most picky.
  6. Get Good Advice and Good Market Exposure: Hiring a professional agent will help you get your home priced right, and will also get you started with the best fix ups. A strong agent will get your home exposed to the largest number of potential buyers. Paying the agent fee is often the least expensive part of selling your home. Trying to sell your home yourself can be costly. Most ‘for sale by owner’ homes close for less than comparable homes listed with an agent, and you have no representation.
  7. Don’t Be Present During Showings: When your home is being shown, go for a drive or a walk. Take yourself, your family, and pets and let the agent and their clients have the freedom they need. An agent can always do their best job of showing your home when you are not underfoot. Buyers are more at ease and much more likely to spend time looking at your home’s features and benefits.
  8. Let Your Agent Do the Negotiating: If there is ever a good reason to have a veteran agent working for you, it’s during the negotiation of your home sale. A good negotiator can mean thousands of dollars to you, and will protect your interests. Don’t let your emotions run wild during negotiations. Try to separate your emotions from your business side. Remain cool and calm during this time.
  9. Act Fast With Offers: When you do get an offer on your home, act quickly and decisively. Letting offers sit around without acting can be a huge mistake. Things can change quickly in the mind of a prospective buyer. Acting quickly while the excitement and interest level are at a high point can be very important. Typically, a buyer’s motivation level decreases with time. Buyers’ remorse can even set in. Acting in a timely manner is essential.

Finding Your Home’s Best Selling Price

Statistics show that the best opportunity to sell your home is often within the first few weeks of putting it on the market. This can be good news, or bad, depending on your motivation. Some homes sell right away, while others sit on the market for months without a single offer.

To maximize your selling opportunity, it is important that your home be priced right. What is the right price? Many factors will determine your home’s best asking price. Our current real estate market has a lot to do with it. Using sound judgment, research, and experience, a good agent can help you determine the right price for your home. They will help you evaluate your location, the recent sold data, current market trends, and your home’s special features that set it apart from the competition.

“What’s wrong with pricing my home a little high?” Price your home too high and most buyers won’t even bother looking at it. Over priced homes tend to sell the competition first. This scares away many qualified buyers simply because they can go elsewhere and get more house for the money. As the house sits on the market, people will shy away from it thinking there must be something wrong with the home.

Should I under-price my home? Price it too low and you could lose thousands of dollars. There are times when you will attract multiple bidders making multiple offers, but this is only recommended when you need a faster-than-average sale.

In most circumstances, pricing your home correctly from the very beginning will net you the best results in both time and money. To find out your home’s perfect selling price, contact us for a No Obligation Market Analysis. We will take the guesswork out the entire process and suggest an accurate market price for your home. It has never been easier!

Questions To Ask Before Listing

Choosing the right Realtor to sell your home can be difficult, especially when they all sound so convincing. The following list of questions will not only help you select the right Realtor, but will also help you get the very best from the agent you choose.

  1. Do you work as a full-time Realtor?
  2. Do you handle incoming property inquiries?
  3. How many listings do you have at this time, and how does this work to my benefit?
  4. Do you have a help system to see that no details are overlooked?
  5. How many potential buyers and sellers do you speak with each day? Each week? Each year?
  6. In what ways will you encourage other Realtors to sell my home?
  7. Do you have references that I can check?
  8. How will you set my listing apart from the crowd with out costing me more money?
  9. What is my property worth? What listing price do you recommend? How did you arrive at that price?
  10. How will you assist in my relocation plans?
  11. Do you have a written plan of action designed specifically to sell my property?
  12. How will you give interested buyers 24 hour access to my property?
  13. How will you make information on my property available to out-of-town buyers?
  14. How do you promote properties on the Internet?

7 Essential Steps To Selling Success

Knowing and using these 7 essential, yet simple steps is crucial to achieving the best deal possible – whether you decide to sell your home yourself or hire a professional real estate agent to help you.

Take a look at the seven-step system I have outlined in this report. Then, if this new approach to marketing your home makes sense and you want to learn more, I’ll show you how to skillfully and specifically apply each of these critical steps to get your home sold for the most money in the shortest amount of time!

7 crucial steps you must take to get top dollar for your home in today’s technically savvy world!

  1. Understanding the “Total Market” concept of positioning your home to attract the greatest number of buyers.
  2. Using the “Total Market” concept to accurately appraise the value of your home. (The standard CMA is simply not enough!)
  3. Pricing Your Home to Appear lower than market value, yet actually asking for more
    than market value (This one crucial step will get buyers and agents flocking to your door!)

  4. Properly advertise and market your home – Using New Technology (Don’t use the same old boring ads everyone else is using, and that nobody looks at!)
  5. “Detailing” your home for sale. (Your goal is to set your home apart from every other home on the market – instantly attracting buyers to your home.)
  6. Learn how to qualify buyers and negotiate offers. (Since we are talking about your money here, the risks of not knowing how to properly qualify and negotiate are too great to ignore or leave to chance!)
  7. Understanding and helping the buyer obtain financing, removing contingencies, and closing the sale. (You need a strategy to avoid and eliminate potential problems in escrow, which can undermine your sale!)

The better you understand and systematically apply these seven steps, the better the results you will get. And better results means more money, in less time, with the least amount of hassle possible. Isn’t that what you ultimately want, whether you decide to sell your home yourself or use the professional services of a licensed agent to help you?

Please let me know if I can help you impliment these steps for you.

Staging Your Home To Sell!

The greatest way to show a home is to have a key available. This is typically done by placing it in a secure lock box, provided to you by your Real Estate Professional. This will give agents, with prospective buyers easy access to your property and promote showings. Following these simple staging guidelines will also help:

  • Keep all lights on, even on the sunniest of days.
  • Keep all draperies and shutters open.
  • Leave soft music playing at a low level.
  • Take a short walk or drive with your children and pets.
  • Let the Realtor and clients view the home without your presence.
  • Burn a scented candle to add a pleasant aroma to your home.
  • Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job.

By employing these successful staging strategies with an aggressive marketing plan, we can achieve a maximum sales price in the shortest number of days. Please contact me if there is anything I can help you get your home ready to sell.

Make The Most Of Curb Appeal!

Most buyers choose to drive by your home first before wanting to set an appointment to view. An attractive yard that is free of debris will gain interest quickly. Make sure that trees are trimmed and that your home can be seen from the street. Have the grass mowed, trimmed and edged. Walkways should be swept. Clean away all debris. Remove parked cars or RVs. When in season plant flowers to add color.

Remember, if the buyer does not like the outside, that person simply drives on to the next house. Get your home ready for drive by traffic and give folks something extra nice to look at.

Call us today for a no-nonsense, no obligation assessment of your homes value and let me show you the key factors in obtaining a top dollar sale on your home! We would definitely like to help you in any way we can!

Pricing Your Home To Sell

Did you know the best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks?

It’s true.

Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net upon the sale. It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value at the signing of your listing contract. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell.

An Overpriced Home:
· Minimizes offers
· Lowers agents response
· Limits qualified buyers
· Lowers showings
· Lowers prospects
· Limits financing
· Wastes advertising dollars
· Nets less for the seller

When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation – just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!

A Little Painting Works Wonders!

New paint makes the entire home smell clean and neat, and can bring sellers top dollar. If your home has chipped paint, exposed wood, or surfaces that looks faded, it’s time for new paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color or style, you might consider replacing it.

Many houses do not sell because of these problems. Don’t think that buyers have more money than you to freshen up a home. They typically don’t. They will simply look elsewhere for a home that needs less work.

Please let me know when you are ready to sell and I can help you prepare your home for today’s market.