Real Estate

In the world of luxury real estate, closing a deal can be as nuanced as it is cut-throat. Here’s an inside look at how a top Colorado agent closed a $60-million home sale while simultaneously managing the $51-million purchase of another property nearby—all for one client.

The Who: As a longtime resident of Vail Valley, Liz Leeds of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate is intimately familiar with all things Aspen, especially when it comes to its homes. Having managed some of the biggest sales in Vail Valley, the luxury specialist continues to be one of the most sought-after realtors in Colorado and regularly ranks among the state’s top producers.

The What: Sitting at the base of Aspen Mountain at the edge of downtown Aspen, the roughly 16,700 square foot estate is outfitted with just about any luxury amenity space you can think of: a wine cellar, an indoor swimming pool, a spa, a golf simulator, a bowling alley/shooting room and a turnstile garage, to name a few. The seven-bedroom mountain mansion is fronted by a 40-foot entrance foyer complete with a 30-foot waterfall wall. Windows stretch in a variety of shapes and styles from floor to ceiling making for bright dwellings and spectacular views.

The Where: There is perhaps no hotter market in the upper valley than downtown Aspen. With prices per square foot reaching as high as $6,100, the area has seen a number of record-breaking sales in the past two years. Proximity to the Aspen action like festivals, markets and nightlife is one of the main attractions of the area, as well as easy walkability to the many restaurants, boutique shops and events spaces. Ute Avenue, where the home is located, stretches across the more secluded edge of town and is home to some of the most extensive and expensive properties in Aspen.

The How: Initially not on the market, the sale of the mountainside estate was only considered after an unsolicited offer aligned with the owner’s minimum price, says Leeds. “It was definitely not a negotiation situation. My client said she would sell it for a certain amount and wasn’t interested in selling it for anything less. And so we got a full-price offer.” At the same time, Leeds was also responsible for representing the same client in purchasing her new home—a 15,000-square-foot residence in Aspen Park. “It was kind of a juggling act. Everything was happening simultaneously and in the end, they both closed within a day of each other,” explained Leeds of the $111-million trade.

The Right Now: As inventory remains low, the markets in Aspen and Vail Valley have become textbook seller’s markets. Despite the resulting rise in prices, Leeds says she is still seeing steadfast demand. “I’ve been watching buyers get 10, 15, 20% appreciation in just the past couple of years. So you think it’d mean prices might start to be out of reach for some people, but in the luxury markets, we continue to see moderate growth.”

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.