The inside line on real estate and design in Jackson Hole

19 Oct 2022

Realtor Jill Sassi and Designer Kate Binger offer insight on today’s market

Summer 2022

| Images: David Bowers

We sat down with Jill Sassi, a top-producing real estate agent for Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty, and Kate Binger, the owner of Dwelling, a boutique interior design studio, to get the inside scoop on real estate and design in Jackson Hole.

The women work independently, but enjoy teaming up to help buyers find and design their Jackson Hole dream home. Both have lived in the valley for 16-plus years and offer guidance on the complexities of buying, selling, and designing a home in the booming Jackson Hole market.

JILL SASSI

Realtor with Huff/Vaughn/Sassi at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Question: When is the right time to buy? Answer: Your goals will dictate your timing, which will inform you when the time is right. Waiting too long may not be the best course of action. With low inventory and often high demand, I understand how truly difficult it is to make a decision quickly and not feel like you are potentially missing out. Historically, Jackson Hole has always had low inventory as we just do not have new neighborhoods popping up — one of the many reasons why people are drawn to this mountain town. With limited new construction, it can be hard to find a property that checks all the boxes perfectly. If you are hitting 8 out of 10 items on your wish list, you have found the right property! Q: Should I sell my home before I have another property locked in? A: The sell-and-buy process has gotten trickier in the last two years but that being said, as an agent, I have done quite a few of these transactions successfully. It is best to have something in mind that could work as a replacement. My recommendation is to then list your property and once an offer is made, make the sale contingent upon finding a replacement property. If a replacement property has not been identified, I then continuously search for the right match on and off market to meet the timeline of contract. It is a careful process of managing both sides and coordinating with both parties so everyone can achieve their end goal, whatever that may look like. Q: What tips would you give a seller in the current market? A: It’s no secret that the last couple years have been a very strong seller’s market. However, there is a threshold of reasonableness that accompanies pricing a property. As a seller, the goal should be to generate interest and draw in potential buyers, and listing your house at a price that is not in line with the market will often prohibit that. The market is hot right now and I completely understand wanting to take advantage of it, but there should be a mindfulness of what has sold and how comparable properties are priced.

KATE BINGER

Founder and owner of Dwelling, a boutique interior design firm in Jackson Hole  Question: When it comes to new construction, when is the best time to get an interior designer involved? Answer: From the very beginning. Your architect, builder, interior designer, and landscape architect should work as a team from the start to create a comprehensive plan. This not only gives you the best results, but also allows everyone to build off each other creatively, which is more fun for you and the team. Q: Since furniture is taking a long time to come in [due to supply chain issues]. What is the fastest way to update a room without changing the furniture? A: I have been using textured wallpapers for the entire room or one accent wall. There are incredible new basketweaves and recycled bark papers out there in an array of colors. They seem to have fewer lead time issues than furniture, but keep in mind scheduling the installation can take time. Q: What items currently take the longest amount of time to order? And how can you navigate supply chain challenges for both new construction and remodels? A: Appliances, windows, plumbing fixtures, and upholstery seem to have the most speed bumps, as of today. New construction generally allows for more time to plan, which is why launching your complete team from Day 1 is key. And the best route for attacking remodels is front-loading orders prior to demo so that there’s a cushion for product delays. Q: What non-decorative item do you find to be essential in new construction or remodeling? A: Tile heat mats! They’re easy to install in remodels and are a no-brainer for new construction. They work on their own thermostat and transform the tactile experience of walking on anything from marble to porcelain. In Jackson Hole, where even summer nights can be chilly, a warm tile floor is much more delicious to bare feet than the shock of a cold surface. Plus, the cost for tile heat mats is minimal!
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