Monthly Archives: December 2014

Don’t Terminate Your Listing During the Winter

Okay, Christmas Day is over, and the holiday season is still on! Parties are still being planned, Families are still visiting and telling tales that NO one wants to hear and (whether you believe it or not) there are some serious lookers here wanting to see what’s out there in terms of homes and land. Yep, there are!

We all want your home to sell - Click here to look at other listings on the MLS

We all want your home to sell – Click here to look at other listings on the MLS

This has been a very unusual year for people deciding that they should take their homes off the market for the winter. Many want my opinion and once they’ve heard it, they choose not to believe it. Why is that exactly? I hate to have to say this myself, but seriously, I’m the real estate expert here! I’ve been doing this for a while now, and there are several scenarios of what MAY happen, but generally, here’s what happens…the conversation goes something like this:

THEM: “We have decided to take our house off the market for the winter. We don’t want the listing to get stale, and would prefer to start the “Days on the Market” count over.”

ME: “I understand your concern over having the listing get stale. We do have several properties that have been on the market for a long time. However, your home listing will have to be off the market for 6 months to start the Days on Market count over. You’ll miss the early spring buyers if you do that.”

Meeting With Listing Clients - Click Here to search listings on the MLS

Meeting With Listing Clients – Click Here to search listings on the MLS

THEM: “Wow, I didn’t realize it had to be off the market for so long. Why is that?”

ME: “It’s a new ruling of our MLS, so there’s no getting around it. I would heartily recommend that you not take your home off the market for the winter. Most realtors will recognize it as the same listing next spring anyway, and there are buyers that come up in the winter to look at homes. Those buyers aren’t window-shoppers…they’re actual buyers who understand that winter is THE time to buy. In addition, since many people do exactly what you’re talking about doing, there can be a lack of good properties to show. If your home isn’t on the market, it won’t get shown.”

THEM: “Well, we think there aren’t enough people up there looking at property, so we’re going to take it off anyway. If you get someone that wants to see it, you can always go ahead and show it.”

ME: “85% of the sales here are co-brokered, meaning that 85% of the sales that occur are NOT sold by the listing agent. They’re sold by other realtors showing that property, so if that’s true (and it IS), brokers that are looking for properties to show during the winter months aren’t necessarily going to remember your home to ask about. They search the MLS to come up with properties to show. That’s why it’s important to be listed.”

Listing Form - Click here to see other listings in the MLS

Listing Form – Click here to see other listings in the MLS

THEM: “Well, we still think there aren’t enough people up there looking at property, so we’re going to take it off anyway.”

And there you have it. I’ve just answered their questions and explained what really happens during the winter months, when there isn’t very much to show. I’ve been on both sides of the table with buyers and sellers during the winter. My advice to you if you’re trying to sell your property is to:

A – Price your property really well. Like it or not, price is still king, and if you’re priced right, you’ll be going to the closing table a lot sooner than if you don’t price right.

B – Keep it clean! Keep the exterior and interior ship-shape. Even though you have to store outdoor furniture cushions in your spare bedroom and the heat is turned down to 55 degrees, take the time to get someone to go take care of cobwebs and fallen leaves.

Keep the House Looking Great during the Winter Months!

Keep the House Looking Great during the Winter Months! Click Here to Learn a Little More about That.

C – Be ready to respond to questions. People want to know about Home Owner Assns., roof age and all kinds of things that you may not have discussed with your Realtor. If your Realtor doesn’t know the answer, she’ll be calling you!

And finally, if you’re on the market now, be candid with your Realtor, and ask her to be candid with you. Make the sensible choice for you, but don’t think your Realtor just wants to keep your listing. One of the things your Realtor is bound to do for you is to use care, skill and diligence in all things regarding your listing. She’s also bound to do what you tell her to. Just think about what she tells you. Take some time and think. She’s really trying to make sure she’s doing the best job she can for you!

Christmas in Cashiers, NC

Remember back to a long time ago, when things were simpler, and little things meant a lot?  That’s sort of what this post is about.  I had forgotten what an impact small, home-town entertainment can make and the lasting impressions that can be imprinted on our memories.  This past Saturday, on December 13, the annual Cashiers Christmas Parade was held.  The day was sunny and bright – cool, but not cold – and there absolutely was a feeling of Christmas in the air!

Girl Drummers Rule!

Girl Drummers Rule!

It takes a village, as they say, and this village really came to life, as the Rosman Marching Band musically blasted out their entire Christmas repertoire.  Each member sported the perfunctory red Santa hat, but all took their jobs very seriously.   As they marched by, I thought, “Wow!  Girl drummers rule!”   Add to these festivities colorfully clothed elves, Santas, animals and clever floats and you have all the right elements for a gay old time!  This is a perfect time for the volunteer fire department to show off their shiny red vehicles, whether an antique wonder or the fabulous ladder 6 firetruck, complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus perched precariously atop!

The Boys and Girls Club Float

The Boys and Girls Club Float

Each vehicle that came by had a smiling face or two, bright with the excitement of the event,  and waving to us happy on-lookers.  The little ones watched carefully as sweets were tossed their way, so they didn’t miss any goodies.   I don’t guess I ever saw so many well-behaved dogs and horses, all dressed up in their holiday finery (as if they really wanted to wear that stuff in the first place).   I had as much fun as the “paraders”, calling out to those I knew and taking pictures to commemorate the day.

All Dressed up and Ready

All Dressed up and Ready

The wonders of it all, are the countless effort and organizational skill necessary to pull it all off.  After all, the town has to come to a complete stop, since the parade marches down 107 South to the Crossroads (where the float entries are judged), then on west down Highway 64.  The parade then concludes at the community center, where all the parade participants beg rides, laugh at something silly somebody did and in general yuk it up!  Hot Chocolate and cookies were offered by one of the charities that had set up in the community center, so all the participants and anyone else could come chat and rest a while before getting on with the business of Saturday afternoon chores.

This Elf Really Rocks!

This Elf Really Rocks!

As I drove along 107 South later Saturday afternoon, I marveled that all the usual storefronts, patrons and activities were back to their normal states.  The only occasional evidence remaining of the 2014 Cashiers Christmas Parade on the road were traces of horse poo, and a very sad piece of glittering blue garland.  But, oh, it was a grand old time!  I loved it and I love the fact that our little village does have some winter “culture”.   In fact, we have more than a little winter culture; we have a lot!  It’s very easy to feel rich in this mountain community.  Come on up!  I’ll show you around!