Coming full circle on one of Aspen’s most expensive deals


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

The OMS: As a long-time Vail Valley resident, Liz Leeds of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate is intimately familiar with all things Aspen, especially when it comes to your homes. Having handled some of the biggest sales in the Vail Valley, the luxury specialist remains one of the most sought-after real estate agents in Colorado and regularly ranks among the top producers in the state.

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The fact that: Located at the base of Aspen Mountain on the edge of downtown Aspen, the approximately 16,700-square-foot property is equipped with just about every luxury amenity space you can imagine: a winery, an indoor pool, a spa, a golf, a bowling alley/shooting room and a garage with turnstiles to name a few. The seven-bedroom mountain mansion has a 40-foot entrance hall complete with a 30-foot waterfall wall. Windows stretch in a variety of shapes and styles from floor to ceiling, creating bright homes and spectacular views.

Where: There is perhaps no market more popular in the upper valley than downtown Aspen. With prices per square foot reaching $6,100, the area has seen a record number of sales in the last two years. Proximity to the action of Aspen, such as festivals, markets, and nightlife, is one of the area’s main draws, as is easy walking distance to many restaurants, boutiques, and event spaces. Ute Avenue, where the house is located, runs along the most isolated edge of the city and is home to some of the sprawling and most expensive real estate in Aspen.

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The how: Not initially on the market, the mountainside property was only considered for sale after an unsolicited offer aligned with the owner’s minimum price, says Leeds. “It was definitely not a negotiation situation. My client said that he would sell it for a certain amount and was not interested in selling it for less. And then we got a full price offer.” At the same time, Leeds was also responsible for representing the same client in the purchase of his new home: a 15,000-square-foot residence in Aspen Park. “It was kind of a juggling act. It was all happening simultaneously and in the end they both closed within a day of each other,” Leeds explained of the $111 million trade.

The right now: Since inventory remains low, the Aspen and Vail Valley markets have become textbook vendors’ markets. Despite the resulting increase in prices, Leeds says it still sees steady demand. “I’ve been watching buyers get 10, 15, 20% appreciation for the last two years. So you think it would mean prices could start to get out of reach for some people, but in the luxury markets, we’re still seeing moderate growth.”

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