Jim Valentine on Real Estate
As we approach winter weather it is time to make mental adjustments in how to buy and sell real estate. We live in the mountains where the weather can change in minutes.
No matter how warm it is when you leave the office to go look at property, throw a coat in the car as it can cool off in a hurry. When you go through a home, make sure you leave it like you found it. If you opened windows or doors to check out the view or sounds, be sure to close them to keep the heat in.
If you are told a home is winterized, make sure you know what that means. To some people unhooking the hoses from the hose bibs and turning off the sprinkler system is winterizing. Others think it means turning off the water to the house and blowing the lines out with compressed air. Be sure you understand what you are buying if you find yourself closing escrow during a severe cold snap. You may be surprised when you turn the heat on and thaw things out if it wasn’t winterized properly.
If you are selling, be sure to keep up with the landscaping. There is actually a lot of work required these fall days as you button things up for winter. When the leaves fall off your trees the gutters seem to work like magnets to them.
Keep the gutters clean for showings on a rainy day. We don’t get many of them, but if you have a showing on one of our few wet days you want the gutters to be functioning correctly. Put your landscaping into winter mode so it looks like somebody lives there. Visitors from coastal areas where their landscaping doesn’t go dormant in the winter are adjusting to the desert. To them, our winter landscaping looks like it’s dead. Tuck it away nicely for winter so it looks groomed yet dormant, easier to explain to a buyer.
This time of year, blinds get drawn to keep the heat in and cold out. When you have a showing be sure to leave your house opened up, so it is bright, and the views readily seen. What you lose in the cost of heating you’ll make up in the resulting sales price. If you are a buyer that is entering a closed-up home, be sure to open the curtains and see the home the way it will be when you are living in it and at home. As you leave be sure to leave it as you found it.
You might need to make adjustments to your offer due to weather. If you have snow on the roof, it is difficult to do a roof inspection. In areas with deeper snow, i.e.- Lake Tahoe market, it can be difficult to inspect the exterior of the foundation. We don’t get that much snow in the valleys in Northern Nevada, but if you find yourself in such a situation, be flexible. Your agent can help you safely navigate such weather-caused hurdles.
Sellers and their agents need to keep things fresh. It is amazing how often pictures of homes with snow on the ground are in MLS in July when the lawns are green. It isn’t so bad having green lawn photos in the winter, of course, but if you take a picture when there is snow on the ground, replace it when the snow melts, which won’t be long at all. We just don’t get that much snow on the ground in the valleys.
Real estate sells year-round in Northern Nevada. It is important to adapt to the seasons as they come and go. Our four good seasons are a wonderful feature of our area, enjoy them and adjust your marketing effort and mindset as they change. The more you normalize the current season, whether it be hot or cold, the easier a prospective buyer will mentally adjust and envision themselves living here… and buying.
Perception is reality of course so don’t overreact to extreme weather. We love showing buyers when it’s snowing, them traipsing through the snow with us shows us they are serious buyers.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, BS.3481, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org