Here we are still in October and already the talk has turned to the growing number of cars on our streets with out-of-state plates. And how restaurants and shops are getting busier by the day. A sure sign of snow birds coming to roost for the winter season.
And, of course, in the hallowed halls of real estate everyone is revving up for the arrival of our winter visitors. The hope, or expectation, is that their arrival will bring a surge of home buying here in the foothills that will pull us out of our doldrums.
So you’ll see more advertising for homes and more open houses and, for sure, there will be a slew of new listings coming to market to meet the hoped-for demand.
Just the other day I had a conversation with some clients about how the attitude of sellers and their listing agents will change once January rolls around. January is opening day for the winter season and, with its arrival, sellers and their agents get all puffed-up and confident. They become more confident of getting a good offer and, in turn, become less flexible about what they’re willing to accept. And because there are more buyers on the streets, it stands to reason that they would. Because for many years that’s how it worked.
Come January, snow birds would arrive and home sales in the foothills would take off like a shot. And that seasonal rhythm has become ingrained and second nature.
But our winter visitors, whether they’re from Chicago, Des Moines or Kansas City, are not from another planet. And they are not going to arrive with pockets full of cash and a care-free, free spending attitude. They are not.
They are going to be as careful and concerned and tight fisted,
and as much on the lookout for a bargain, as everyone else has been. So rather than getting all puffed up and confident, the best thing sellers and their agents could do, that is if they wish to take advantage of this fleeting opportunity, is to get their prices down to where buyers see their homes as an opportunity that is just too good to pass up. One that may not come their way again.
Otherwise, those winter visitors are going to go home to Des Moines with nothing more than some cactus jelly and frozen tamales and maybe think about having another look at the foothills in 2012.
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