Selling your property during the holidays | SierraSun.com

Selling your property during the holidays

Sabrina Belleci and Don Kanare
Guest Column

Don Kanare and Sabrina Belleci, ReMax Realty

It's that time of year when festive holiday lights decorate the homes and trees on properties all over Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

With occasional snowstorms covering the evergreen trees, it's starting to look like the quintessential holiday season all around Lake Tahoe. The beginning of December also marks a general inventory reduction of properties for sale in our community.

With the number of houses, condos and free-standing condos for sale on the Incline Village Multiple Listing Service down to around 165 properties, this time of year is typically when the inventory declines. Many agents and sellers, routinely withdraw properties from the market at the end of November.

There are many reasons a seller might have for taking a property off the MLS this time of year. First and foremost, the number of buyers actively seeking properties generally declines dramatically after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The potential for injury to a buyer or agent is also significantly increased during wintertime showings. Many sellers do not wish to take the risk of additional liability for wintertime injuries that may occur at their property.

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The vast majority of people who come to visit Lake Tahoe during ski season have winter sports on their mind and shopping for real estate takes a backseat. After a long day on the slopes, most people are too tired to take a serious look at Incline Village real estate. A hot toddy, nice massage, and dinner by the fire seem to have more appeal than tromping through the snow to look at houses and condos.

A lot of sellers do not want people traipsing through their properties in the wintertime, tracking mud and snow on their beautiful flooring. Even if you provide booties to cover soiled shoes, there are always a few folks who just want to do a quick run through with mud on their treads. With so few active buyers seeking properties during wintertime, most sellers would rather button up their houses and retain them for their personal enjoyment.

There is also the issue of snow removal and liability. If you have a condo for sale in the wintertime, then you can pretty much depend on the homeowners association to handle the snow removal chores.

But, if you are an absentee owner of a single-family home and you don't normally have the driveway cleared after every snowstorm, keeping your property ready for a showing at any time can result in considerable additional expense. Most buyers are not going to climb over a 3-foot high berm of snow and ice, then trudge up a snow-covered sidewalk to get to the front door.

The potential for injury to a buyer or agent is also significantly increased during wintertime showings. Many sellers do not wish to take the risk of additional liability for wintertime injuries that may occur at their property.

Every year, people slip and fall on icy sidewalks and driveways, or get hit by falling ice resulting in broken bones that keep our local emergency room rather busy. It takes a certain amount of care and vigilance to continually remove snow, ice and dangerous icicles, and keep entryways and rooflines clear so that it's safe for agents and their clients to take a look at your property.

So, while each snowstorm is welcomed by winter sports enthusiasts, buyers become scarcer. Most visitors turn their attention to the ski resorts and shopping for real estate becomes less of a priority than during the busier summer season.

Sabrina Belleci and Don Kanare are the owners of RE/MAX North Lake. Read their blog and find weekly stats on their website at http://www.InsideIncline.com

Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 12-03-17

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 100 41 24

Under $1 million 29 28 12

Median Price For Sale $1,650,000 $595,000 $1,100,000

YTD Sales 2017 154 184 52

YTD Sales 2016 153 186 55

New Listings 5

In Escrow 9

Closed Escrow 9

Range in Escrow $435,000 – $2,350,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS or its Multiple Listing Service as of Dec. 3