Jim Valentine: Real estate during the holidays

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It is about that time when folks get absorbed with the Christmas and New Year spirit. Shopping, decorating, wrapping, shopping, baking, shopping, visiting, and shopping consume a lot of time and energy. With all the effort being generated for long-lasting family memories buyers and sellers can easily be overwhelmed and not have time to think of moving. Keep in mind, however, that for some it is the right time to buy or sell a home.

While most people are full of seasonal warm fuzzy feelings, don’t let those influence you to the detriment of your real estate objectives. If you get an offer on your home, or the right home pops up and you want to buy a home for Christmas, take the time to focus on business. Make realistic decisions with the right perspective for you and your wants and needs. Your agent can help you with this, but understand, they, too, may be distracted with family events. They can separate and focus in increments so make sure you coordinate and focus together.

If you are negotiating an offer during the Christmas season remember that the real estate industry doesn’t operate with its normal efficiency this time of year. Inspectors, appraisers, title officers, escrow officers, repairmen, etc., all have families and need family time during the holidays. Plan for delays for somewhere along the line someone won’t be “at their post.” Add time to the escrow for the vendor inefficiencies that you will likely experience.

This is a great time of year to list your home for sale if you have been getting ready. Rarely does your home look as nice as it does through the Christmas season when it is decorated, full of holiday treat ambience, holiday spice smells, baking odors wafting throughout, and the holiday spirit bubbling throughout the house. It seems as if even the pets know something is up and their tails wag faster and their smiles become wider. A home with Christmas joy is something to experience – what better way to present your home to a prospective buyer? Thinking of selling? Get listed and get going!

Buyers will be looking at homes online during their vacation time off from work. Many will come to the area to ski in our wonderful resorts, or to visit family and contemplate their migration to our wonderful Northern Nevada communities. If they are looking at homes while on vacation they are serious buyers. If they look in the snow they are serious buyers. A serious buyer should be taken ... seriously.

Respect your agent’s time, but coordinate with your agent what you will both be doing for the next few weeks. Will you all be in town? Available? Are there any “black out” days, days when Aunt Tillie will be coming over to taste your cooking so she can talk about it for the next year? If you are organized it is easy for your agent to welcome other agents or buyers to show and look. Negotiations are easier during the Christmas season when everybody is in the giving spirit. Getting to the last dollar just doesn’t seem as important as does the good feeling of making a transaction to make everybody happy, but remember not to give away the proverbial store with your feeling of good will to all. Spread the joy and you will feel it. Enjoy the season!

My advice: Buyers looking at homes during the holiday season are usually very considerate when entering your festive family atmosphere. With your home in its most alluring condition, buyers can’t help but feel good when they leave and think about your home. Welcome buyers as you would any other friends and family, with a cookie and a smile. They’ll think better of your home than they will of the Grinch’s home down the street where they felt like they were being an imposition to the family.

Embrace buyers this time of year. Show them your home and enjoy the resulting Christmas present … a wonderful offer with terms you love.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com


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