Buying or Selling a Mountain Property

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As a Mountain Realtor, representing my Buyers and Sellers in the Mountains – I know the questions to ask!

Please make sure your Realtor has the CMAS (Certified Mountain Area Specialist) Designation.


You may have heard the phrase “things are just different here in our Mountain Communities”. This is not just an empty declaration – it is a fact. Those of us who have chosen to live in these Mountain Communities know that the lifestyle this area provides is almost defies a comprehensive and concise description to those who haven’t experienced living “up here”. Although there are any number of varying degrees of “issues” that come with living in these areas, the positives so outweigh any perceived negatives. There is simply ‘no contest’ between the lifestyle in these Mountain Communities as opposed to “down the hill”.

When it comes to purchasing or selling real estate in these areas, “things are DEFINITELY different”. Realtors and/or Licensees with their scope of experience in the Denver- Metro area do not typically have the experience and knowledge that is critical to working in these Mountain Communities. In other words they often “don’t know what they don’t know”. The usual city transaction involves conventional subdivision lots, with public water and sewer, zoning usually something on the order of a PUD (Planned Urban Development), and driveways that are the length of a couple of cement block slabs straight into the garage.

Mountain Communities are far more complex on a daily basis with a vast majority of real estate transactions completed in these areas. There are serious details involved, including wells and septic’s, zoning issues, recorded and unrecorded easements, Open Space limitations, Fire Mitigation awareness, and awareness of driveway limitations for fire trucks, just to name a few . Almost every Realtor working in our Mountain Communities has more than a few stories about out of area Realtors somewhere in the transaction asking questions like “Septic Usage Permit? What’s that?”, or “Well designation – what do you mean? The property is zoned for horses.”

All Realtors (as opposed to Licensees) with The National Association of Realtors must subscribe to the “Code of Ethics”. This Code of Ethics states that we are held to a higher standard, and is based on professionalism and protection of the Public. Within this Code of Ethics there are 17 Articles which clearly state what is expected of each Realtor. Within Article 11 it states that “Realtors shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence, unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such property or service”. It is not unusual for our mountain Realtors to end up being the “source of competency” on many transactions with out of area Realtors and/or Licensees.

The Mountain Metro Association of Realtors (MMAR) continually and consistently offers ongoing education to our Association Members in order to educate, update and hold ourselves to an even higher standard than is found in out of area Realtors.

This is not new to this local Realtor association – YOUR local Realtor community. MMAR has been offering serious, content rich and up to date classes throughout the year, for many years now. The information imparted at these classes is invaluable knowledge and benefit to not just our Realtor Members – but ultimately to you the Public, whom we serve on a daily basis.

Many of us have known each other for several decades in this business. We as a membership support each other in our constant reach for above average business behavior and success as a group as well as individuals. I am very confident when I say the best Realtor you can choose to work with on your next real estate transaction – is right here in your own “back yard” — The Mountain Metro Association of Realtors.

Thank you Machiele Marks for the article written so much more eloquently than I could have done.

I am so honored to have received the REALTOR OF THE YEAR-2016 by the Mountain Metro Association of Realtors. ~Deb