ASPEN REAL ESTATE – In the absence of good comparable sales data, Tim Estin, a broker associate at Mason Morse who writes the popular Estin Report and blog, follows a step-by-step approach.“First comes an assessment of replacement value–the estimated value of the land plus the cost of construction But with little raw land selling these days, that number is often elusive,” Estin says. Next might come an income valuation, which generally is difficult in Aspen with the relative dearth of properties, particularly at the high end, that generate rental income. “Lacking such information, one can take a more macro approach, “ Estin says. He advises sellers to consider which neighborhoods are selling better than others and how their neighborhood compares. “A good broker would suggest strongly that if the seller is a real seller–motivated but not desperate, no bank issues looming, no imminent foreclosure–then proper pricing strategy would dictate they be preemptive or ahead of the pack,” Estin says. When factoring in the quality of the home, its age, and any unique attributes, its price should be relatively low compared to its neighbors. Pricing should represent the best value proposition to the buyer–the best quality at the best price. Estin cites last year’s sale of a $43 million house on Willoughby Way as an example of a seller who knew that his home had unique value and stuck to a high price. “The home was 16,000 square feet,” Estin says. “You’d never get approval to build that size home again.”

Aspen Magazine, Summer 2010

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