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Pricing to sell in today's market

by Allison Simson

With price reduction, timing is everything

Question:  Allison, we currently have our Keystone condo on the market and our Broker is telling us we need to reduce the price.  We priced it where he told us to price it in the beginning.  What’s up with price reductions?  Doesn’t that make our property look bad?

Answer:  That’s a good question…and one that I hear a lot!  Selling property is not always easy, and putting yourself in the right mindset to sell is essential. It's the most difficult aspect of selling for most sellers. Your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, which may not be what you think it is worth.

Detaching yourself emotionally from your home- even your second home - is difficult. Clearing out years of clutter, depersonalizing your home by removing personal memorabilia, and staging your home for sale can help you step back and view the home as a commodity that needs to be sold rather than as your personal sanctuary.

Putting your home on the market at a price that reflects what you want and not what the market will bear can cost you time and money as it sits on the market unsold.

The home-sale market is a localized phenomenon. The only way to get a clear picture of what your home is likely to sell for is to find out which listings are selling in your neighborhood and for how much.

The most recent sales -- those that closed within the last three months -- will be the most informative. Be sure to take a hard look at the list prices of homes that are new on the market.  The market is constantly changing, and so the price you listed it at 6 months ago, is probably not the price it will sell for today.

If the list prices are lower than they were two or three months ago, this indicates that prices are declining. This needs to be taken into account when you select a list price.

HOUSE SELLING TIP: Pay close attention to your competition. Don't fall into the trap of pricing your home higher than your neighbor's home because yours is better. If your neighbor's price is too high for the market, neither of your homes will sell.

Ask your listing agent to call the listing agents of properties similar to yours to find out what kind of showing activity they are receiving. Have they had offers? If so, why weren't they accepted? Was the price too low? If so, you should set your sights lower.

Your home is most marketable when it is new on the market. Buyers wait anxiously for the new crop of listings. Listings that don't sell relatively quickly often languish on the market.

Price reductions often follow as the sellers try to find market value. A listing that has been on the market for months is likely to receive a low offer -- if a buyer makes any offer.

A listing that receives a lot of showing activity when it first hits the market but gets no offers is probably overpriced for the market. In this case, it's best to lower the price to market value as soon as possible while the listing is still fresh in agents' and buyers' minds, even if this is within two to four weeks of the listing date.

Pricing right for the market is imperative.

Inman News copyright


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Would you like a personalized list of all properties that meet your criteria, without having to speak to a broker?  Visit      

A Reasonable Perspective!

by Allison Simson

As Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz...."There's no place like home!"  I just returned from vacation this past weekend.  I had a wonderful, relaxing time with my family, but it's good to be home.
You know how it is when you get back from being's payback time!  While plowing through my many emails, I came across this "Round of Reasonable Perspective" and wanted to share it with you...

Another Round of Reasonable Perspective
"There is no question that we face formidable, long-term structural problems with our economy – problems that have made US markets less attractive in recent years. But these problems are surmountable. We have no qualms saying that the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that has defined America in past crises will prevail today.

Though housing remains tepid and debt and deficit levels are rising, compared to the rest of the world the United States is in good shape. Our economic fundamentals are sound: manufacturing levels are up and interest rates and inflation are low. What's more, the broader economic recovery is translating into meaningful employment improvements and corporate-profit growth that could potentially reach a record high in this year's third quarter.

Risks clearly remain, but markets are always fraught with risks: there are no perfect markets. To the contrary, when markets seem the most perfect, that's when they are the most risky, as the housing and mortgage markets post-2006 have so painfully revealed. Things still aren't so rosy today, but that's okay, because we're sure that better days lie ahead."

And now for your Tuesday Coffee Break...I want to thank the amazing team at Summit Real Estate for "holding down the fort" while I was gone.  They enrich my life everyday!  Our business wouldn't be where it is today without their commitment, help and support.  Now for today's quote:
"Even 'Super-You' needs help and support. There is no shame in asking for assistance. Push aside the pride and show respect for the talent others can bring to the table.

And, remember that there is no such thing as a single-handed success: When you include and acknowledge all those in your corner, you propel yourself, your teammates and your supporters to greater heights.
                                - Author Unknown.

Tuesday Coffee Break ~ Real Estate Outlook: Experts Weigh In

by Allison Simson

It's beginning to show signs of spring here in the high country...the buds on the trees are coming to life and the melt-off is beginning.  It's been a long winter and the sunshine is quite welcome!
I'd like to share an interesting article from "Realty Times" published on May 10th:
Real Estate Outlook: Experts Weigh In 
by Kenneth R. Harney
Mega-investor Warren Buffett and a group of top corporate leaders are weighing in on a key issue that's crucial to a sustained real estate recovery: How long will the good economic news we've been getting lately continue?

Are we going to be let down later in the second half of the year, or is the current, slow-moving national economic growth pattern a long term trend?

Buffet told his annual stockholders gathering in Omaha that, the economy is showing "significant" and persistent improvement for the first time since the financial crisis broke in 2008.

Other top business leaders polled by the Conference Board -- and quoted last week by the Wall Street Journal - said they are now "confident that the U.S. will see sustained growth through 2010" - with moderate gains in employment, consumer spending and consumer confidence.

That's hugely important for housing of course - and offers a strong answer to economic doomsayers who predict a sharp drop in home sales and real estate activity following the expiration of the tax credits.

The latest housing and mortgage numbers certainly look encouraging:

Pending home sales jumped by more than five percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors, and were 21 percent higher than the previous year for the same month.

Home prices are turning at least modestly positive again in the majority of large housing markets. The closely-watched PMI risk index, which looks at price decline potentials for two years out, found that 42 of the 50 largest markets in its latest survey showed diminished risk.

Another index -- from valuation data firm Clear Capital - found home prices gained by five percent nationally year over year. Prices in a handful of what Clear Capital calls "micro" markets are doing better than that. Washington DC, for example, saw an 8.4 percent increase over last year, according to the latest index.

Meanwhile, new applications for loans to purchase houses took another big jump -- up 13 percent over the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

MBA vice president for research, Michael Fratantoni, said that last week's FHA and VA share of home purchase applications soared above 50 percent -- the highest it's been in more than two decades.

Finally, there was some outstanding news for home buyers and sellers in high cost markets: The jumbo loan market is roaring back -- with more banks now offering big loans and cutting rates. One major lender even announced that for credit-worthy applicants, it's dropping rates on jumbos to 5.7 percent for 30 years -- the best ever.

Published: May 10, 2010 in “Realty Times”

In Summit County, we historically lag behind the national economy by 18-24 months.  When the majority of the economy has their big spike in prices in 2005-2006, we were still very steady and flat here, and then when the rest of the country took a nosedive is right when we saw our biggest appreciation in years!   Now, our values in Summit County are depreciating, but it's great to hear some good news on the national front.  Time will tell if history repeats itself or not.

And now for your Tuesday Coffee Break....."We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."     ~  Frederick Keonig

Have a great week! 



Allison Simson, Owner/Broker
Lynn Sustad, Buyer Specialist
Kelie Gray, Buyer Specialist
Anna Willis, Buyer Specialist
Kristi Warner, Client Care Manager
Margaret Bowes, Transaction Coordinator

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Summit County Home

by Allison Simson

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Summit County Home

Selling your Summit County, Colorado home should be a smooth and -with any luck at all- a profitable transaction. But it could end up being an unsuccessful, draining experience, especially if the appropriate precautions and preparations are not observed. A majority of the time, the chance for success lies within the hands of the hired real estate expert. In order to guarantee optimal results, the sellers must be willing to cooperate and consider the professional advice of their real estate agent. Agonizing over a listing price, making the property presentable, rushing for last minute showings, answering inconvenient calls, and frazzling thoughts of not being able to sell are all stressful components of selling your Summit County home. If you and your home are not properly prepared there is a great risk of losing thousands of dollars in an unsuccessful transaction.  Here are five of the most common, costly mistakes homeowners can easily avoid when selling their property here in the mountains:

1. Do not believe all real estate professionals are the same, choose wisely

The process of selling your home involves many tedious details and critical decisions. Real estate professionals are experts in handling these situations and offering knowledgeable guidance to sellers. It is crucial to research several professionals in order to find a suitable match with experience selling homes similar to yours. Real estate agents use different methods to sell their listings. Innovative professionals who promote listings with newer techniques to attract buyers are always more successful than professionals relying on traditional strategies. 24-7 advertising, excessive exposure and lead generation are important services agents offer to aid in selling your home. Hiring and utilizing the right real estate professional can significantly maximize the chances for a smooth, profitable transaction.

2. Effects of ignoring cosmetic upkeep

The potential buyer’s first impression of your property is crucial. Dirty dishes piled in the sink, unkempt lawns and front entry areas, cluttered rooms, stained carpets, scattered soiled laundry, and any offensive odors may seem like little things, but they are big turn-offs to prospective buyers. Ignoring cosmetic upkeep leads to loosing home sales. It also never hurts to hire a staging company to assist in making the home more appealing to buyers.

3. Refusing to make repairs

Another major cause in loosing home sales is the seller’s refusal to make necessary repairs. In the long run, it is not beneficial to sell “as is”. Instead, making needed repairs or improvements will increase the home’s value. A real estate agent can decide what repairs will boost the home’s value.

4. Picking a price that is too high or too low

When properties get priced too high they tend to sit on the market and eventually develop a label of a problem property. When priced too low a home could fly off the market, allowing the buyer to get a great deal and the seller with lost potential profits. Listing the home at the appropriate price could make or break a successful sale. Real estate professionals use their market knowledge and special tactics to appropriately price the property and ensure a timely and profitable sale.

5. Making things convenient for prospective buyers

Providing easy access to the property for showings is the key to finding the right buyer. Appointment-only showings take away from the buyer’s convenience because a specific time has to be set to fit the schedules of multiple people. Using a lock box is the best way to provide easy access for showings. You are less likely to miss out on a sale when buyers are never denied a chance to view the property.

 For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit   

5 tips for tapping energy credits

by Allison Simson

Get tax savings for home improvements

Question:  I’ve heard a lot about the tax credit for first time homebuyers and move-up buyers, but I’m interested in more details about tax credits that are available for energy saving improvements we’d like to make to our home in Silverthorne.  What can you tell me?


Answer:  Good question!  According to Mary Umberger of Inman News there are some great improvements you can make in 2010 that not only have the potential to reduce your monthly utility bills -- they also could put a dent in your taxes.

They are tax credits that homeowners can get through a federal stimulus package passed last year.

In particular, the Existing Home Retrofit Tax Credit covers an array of energy-saving fix-ups -- from installing certain kinds of windows to powering your house with a windmill -- that qualify for a credit, according to Calli Schmidt, environmental communications director for the National Association of Home Builders.

The tax credit for many of the energy-saving changes could be good for as much as $1,500, she said. If you want to upgrade your heating or cooling or switch to alternative forms of energy, the potential tax credits can go much higher.

Five things to know about the home-improvement tax credits:

1. The simplest changes that qualify for the credits involve buying and installing approved products that improve the energy performance of the home itself, such as insulation, insulated siding, doors and windows, some types of roofing and skylights, and others.

The credit for these products is 30 percent of the cost (but doesn't include the cost of installation), up to $1,500. NAHB materials explaining the tax credits offer a typical example: Upgrading inefficient insulation (from R-19 to R-38) in the attic of a two-story, 2,000-square-foot-house in Chicago might cost about $1,000, but the tax credit would reduce the cost to $700.

2. If you go the second route and install a new furnace, air conditioning, tankless hot-water heater, heat pump, geothermal system, biomass heater, or solar or wind installation, the credits could go much higher.

Again, the credit amounts to 30 percent of the purchase cost, but there's no dollar cap on these, she said. A big-ticket example: Spending $25,000 for a rooftop solar-heat panels would net a $7,500 tax credit.

3. "In addition to the federal incentives, many utilities and municipal, county and state governments are also offering incentives for buying and installing certain products," Schmidt said.

For example, New Mexico offers tax credits to help cover of the cost of installing geothermal heat pumps; Indiana offers credits for qualified water heaters, furnaces, central air conditioning and programmable thermostats.

A state-by-state guide to these tax credits and other incentives is at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency--

4. The federal offering isn't a tax deduction (which whittles down your taxable income), but a credit -- which reduces the actual taxes you owe Uncle Sam. It applies only to your principal residence, not to vacation homes.

Being a tax law, of course, it has myriad details and exclusions. To file for the credit you'll need Internal Revenue Service form 5695; you'll also need to hang on to both the itemized product-purchase receipts and the labels from those products.

The credit also could apply to home improvements you may have made in 2009, so if you did some fix-ups last year that improve your home's efficiency you might be able squeeze them into your last-minute IRS filing or consider an amended return if you've already filed. Again, however, documentation is critical.

5. For further information on the tax credits, you can visit The homebuilders also have details at



For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field.  Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit   

Question: I am going to remodel an older home in Silverthorne. What types of remodeling projects give the greatest increase in property values?

 Answer: Many homeowners upgrade their residences with property value increases in mind. The key for these consumers is to determine which improvements will produce the most value for the money.

According to Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report, kitchen remodels are the most profitable upgrade, offering homeowners an 88 percent return on project costs. Some homeowners actually stand to lose money on a sale if they fail to modernize their kitchens and bathrooms, says Vince Butler of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association Remodelers' Council.

On the hand, homeowners only recoup an average of 55 percent on the costs of a home office, making it the least profitable improvement. Remodeling investment returns are tied to the properties' values, as well as local market conditions.


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800 or 1-800-262-8442. Email - [email protected] or visit their web site at Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field.  Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  

Which Tax credit fits you best?

by Allison Simson

It's tax time!  Whoopee!  This year there are a few tax credits that I wanted to make sure you knew about.

Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit

  • Buyers must have owned and lived in their previous home for five consecutive years out of the last eight years.
  • The tax credit is equal to 10% of the home's purchase price up to $6,500.
  • Does not have to be repaid unless the home is sold or ceases to be used as the buyer's principal residence within three years of the initial purchase.
  • The tax credit applies to sales under contract by April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

  • The IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
  • The tax credit is equal to 10% of the home's purchase price up to ?.
  • The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
  • the tax credit applies to sales under contract by April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.

So, if you want to buy or move up - Get Cracking!  Time is short for this giveaway money.  Smile


Real estate's 'fear factor' waning?

by Allison Simson

Economist sees hope in first-time buyers, pent-up demand

Question:  What do you see on the real estate horizon? 

Answer: I wish I could consult my real estate crystal ball, but alas, it’s in the shop getting some work done!  There is so much speculation about real estate in the media today it’s difficult to discern what is reality and what is fantasy.  But according to Inman News Group, while most housing analysts believe there will be no double-dip recession, the number of foreclosures will continue to hound the industry in 2010.

"The only guys predicting a double-dip recession are guys who want to make a name for themselves," said John Tuccillo, national residential consultant and the former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

"If they can call this one right, everybody will remember them. But, in reality, it will be a long, grinding, slow recovery. Banks are sitting on too much cash now for a double dip, and I don't think most people see that happening."

Lawrence Yun, the present NAR economist, expects the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit extension to continue to stimulate the lower end of the market, influencing the entire housing ladder. As more first-timers move in, others move up.

About 47 percent of all home sales in 2009 involved first-timers, up from 41 percent in 2008 and 36 percent in 2006. Yun believes that number will continue to rise because of an estimated 16 million renter households making enough money to qualify to buy homes. Demand should remain strong in 2010 and restore confidence for all potential buyers.

"I don't think the fear factor will be at play in 2010," Yun said. "We're seeing price stabilization on a month-to-month basis."

Yun's numbers show the pool of first-time buyers is 5 million more than in 2000, and thus represents pent-up demand. In his opinion, if the credit continues to have the same impact on demand in 2010, overall house prices will rise 3-5 percent this year and sales will be up "conservatively" 15 percent.

It remains to be seen if the first-time homebuyer program -- plus the new $6,500 credit for existing homeowners -- will generate enough energy to eliminate the fear factor this year. People simply postpone a buying decision if they believe home prices will continue to go down.

The stewing pot is the number of foreclosures heading to the market. Some lenders, deluged with active foreclosures, are way behind with some borrowers who are 16-20 months behind in their payments. These properties have yet to hit the market as foreclosures. Yun predicts 2.2 million foreclosures this year.

Let's hope that fear factor is quickly eliminated in 2010. Let's hope people will regain the confidence -- and guts -- to make their payments or seek a realistic, honest solution.


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit   

Did you hear? STAR POWER Conference is back!

by Allison Simson

It's official ... STAR POWER is being re-launched under new leadership! As a STAR POWER Star it's incredibly exciting to be involved in the continuation of STAR POWER into a new era of industry leadership.  Since you are a part of my database you automatically get $100 discount to this event.

The 2010 Conference has been booked and this years key note speaker is Dave Ramsey . I do not personally profit if you sign up on my recommendation, but if you try to sign up without going through me it is going to cost you extra money.  Us the link below to get the discount.

STAR POWER also has a new saying that fits perfectly with the organization's goals:

STAR POWER is ... Success Shared™.

I'm proud to be a part of this extraordinary organization helping thousands of agents across the country learn how to be more successful, both professionally and personally.

Agents interested in elevating their business should definitely look into going to STAR POWER Conference. Again, the site is:

Summit County Stats

by Allison Simson

Happy Tuesday Morning to you! 

For anyone who's counting...the statistical data for sales in Summit County 2009 is in! Here, in a nutshell, is the summary for Summit County As always, if you'd like more details, please just give us a call! 

*Summit County ended the year 2009 with $683,009,100 in monetary sales volume. This is 36% shy of the 2008 total.

*Total Transactions in 2009 totaled 1047, 32% shy of 2008's total.

*The areas that showed an increase in median average price for Single Family 2008 to 2009- Breckenridge at +14%, Keystone at +27%, Peak 7 ( Crystal Peak Lodge) at +33%, Silverthorne at +20%,- the total Median Price Single Family Gross Live Median increased by +4%.

*The areas that showed an increase in median average price for Multi-Family 2008 to 2009 –Copper Mountain at 21%, Silverthorne at 2% and Summit Cove at 22%-the total Median Price for Condo and Townhome sales overall decreased by 10%

*The total Median Price for Vacant Land only decreased from 2008-2009 by 3%.

*There were 136 Residential Units that sold for $1M and over in 2009 vs. 177 in 2008 and 208 in 2007.

*The most active Residential Price ranges in December were $200k-300k 21 transactions, $300K -400K 22 transactions, $400K-500K 21 transactions and $500K-600K21 transactions.

*The YTD Price Point Summary for 2009 indicates a total of 1047 transactions vs. 2008 at 1471 transactions and 2007 at 2581 transactions.

*The Year to Date 2009 areas with highest number of transactions: Breckenridge at 257, Keystone at 173 transactions, Frisco at 127 transactions, Silverthorne at 117 transactions, the Breckenridge Golf Course area at 116 transactions, and Wildernest with 114 transactions. Cash transactions are still averaging around 40% each month.

*Top Sale in Summit County: 12/21/2009 $8,285,000 Timber Trail Subd Lot 9 – 382 Timber Trail Road – 7 Brm 9 Bath – YOC 2006 – 6,565 SF on .545 Acres which is $1,262.00 PSF!

*The number of foreclosed homes in Summit County, while higher than 2008, is still very low (under 50 in 2009).

Note: This information was obtained from Land Title Guarantee company and comes from actual recorded transactions at the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office for that particular month.  The information is not directly related to MLS data. The data is an unofficial tabulation of Summit County Records that are believed to be reasonably accurate.

Yes, Summit County has been hit by the national recession, but not nearly as hard as so many parts of the country.  For this we are thankful and hopeful for some stabilization in the national economy this year.

If you would like specific information about your Summit County property or any particular complex or subdivision, please respond to this email and we'll send you the 2009 Sales report for that area!


Warmly,Go Green 2

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker
Lynn Sustad, Buyer Specialist
Kelie Gray, Buyer Specialist
Anna Willis, Buyer Specialist
Kristi Warner, Client Care Manager
Margaret Bowes, Transaction Coordinator

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 45




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Contact Information

Photo of Summit Real Estate Real Estate
Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker