First, select a Realtor:

  • Shop around – Get the names of two or three Realtors at established firms such as Coldwell Banker — experts on the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley areas.
  • Always check the agent’s webpages first. This gives you an idea of how committed they are, and gives you an easy way to see the focus of their business, their references, and their personality.
  • Any Realtor you choose should have their own personal up-to-date webpage.
  • Use top Internet search engines such as Google to search for an Agent.
  • Call the Agent and speak on the phone, or drop by their office. The first contact you make, and your feelings about the person, form the foundation for what is often a long-term business relationship.
  • Return for another visit, or make another call, and do a more serious interview. Use a list of questions on important matters to you.
  • Obtain two or three references from the Realtor. Check them out.
  • Pick a Realtor with deep knowledge of the region. Ask how long they’ve lived in the Aspen area. A minimum of fifteen years is a good rule of thumb.
  • Discuss agency issues, along with listing agreements and/or buyer agency agreements.
  • Discuss office commission/fee policy.
  • Ask about finance options that are right for you and about the closing process.
  • Obtain a copy of the Realtor’s Code of Ethics. Read it and ask them about it.
  • A Realtor can operate as seller’s agent, a buyer’s agent or a transaction broker. As required by the State of Colorado, any agent is required to give a prospective buyer the State approved form titled “Brokerage Relationship Disclosure” upon giving you “specific assistance” with real estate matters. If you have not received this from an agent you are working with, ask “Why not?"

Establish a priority system:

It’s unlikely you’ll find a home with all the features you want. Consider what’s most important to you and make a list. Be realistic, and rely on your Realtor to check your list and give you ideas of what’s feasible.

Price and terms:

Most homes in the Aspen area are priced at market value. A Realtor is required to submit all offers to his client, the seller. Any realistic offer will usually be considered. Take care to keep your offers reasonable, as unrealistic offers may alienate the seller, thus precluding more offers and negotiation.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do show your devotion to finding a great home by keeping appointments and being on time. Your Realtor will respond by treating you as a top customer!
  • Don’t bring children with you during your home search in Aspen or the Roaring Fork Valley..
  • Don’t try to see too many homes, pace yourself.
  • Do stick with one Realtor, and get to know them. If you’re relocating they can become one of your first new friends.
  • Do make notes and review them.
  • Do enjoy your Realtor’s knowledge of the area. Ask questions about local history and lore, about schools, recreation, climate, and anything else on your mind.