When the Grass is Greener

Kristn.jpg We live near open space, so we have critters. Steve declared a one-man assault a couple of years ago on the bunnies that were trashing his back lawn. Note I say “his”, because the natural order of things prescribes that the man of the house attend to the manly tasks such as plumbing, electrical and landscape maintenance, leaving the woman to nest, hunt and gather (read: hire a housecleaner and visit pizza hut online). So, back to Steve’s war on terrorism. He swiftly built a chicken wire-contained compound that any military installation would envy. The entire perimeter our tiny backyard, or as we call it in California, “acreage”, was soon protected with an attractive mesh barrier to keep the killer rabbits at bay. Unfortunately, the wily critters were motivated, and we can count several on any given morning dining on a buffet of crab grass. I have nightmares involving green beret donning furry creatures being air dropped into our enemy territory.

Most recently, Steve decided it was time to return our back lawn to its former glory once and for all. Forget the fact that my 100 pound puppy, Simon (who has the cognitive skills of a Pet Rock), has all but assured that no grass will grow here again. And my husband, being the big fan of value-engineering, decided on seed rather than sod. My reseeded yard (notice it is mine now) is home at this moment to at least twenty delightful, well-fed birdies.

So what does this have to do with real estate? It proves that desire is a motivater. There are yards that are less the fortress than mine at present, but for some reason the consumers (of our lawn, in this case) like ours best. And they will come.

The market is slow. It is slow from a cyclical perspective and slow from a seasonal one. I hear both arguments on an almost daily basis. “Shouldn’t I wait until Spring when things are more active?” Sure you may enjoy a market with more buyers actively looking, but you will also find many more homes listed which you will compete with. “Aren’t the holidays a bad time to list my home? It is a slow time of year.” Yep, slow indeed. But, second to June/July, Steve and I historically sell more homes in December than any other month, and this year is shaping up to be no different. We attribute this to quality over quantity. If I am seeing your home during the second week of December, I must mean business, since I have so many other, personal commitments competing for my time. I am motivated! As a seller, fewer potential buyers simply means fewer casual shoppers. Waiting to list may mean you miss being exposed to the buyer who is actually looking to buy your home, regardless of the time of year.

Personally, our numbers of showings on our listings are down – Way down. The phones are ringing only infrequently this week. Curiously, however, our online statistics reveal much higher traffic for our listings than over the past several months, including Realtor.com and our website. Our showing traffic in the past seven days: One showing (for all of our listings), and one resulting offer/sale. Statistically speaking, pretty darn dismal. For that one seller, not too shabby. Why did this one home sell, and after a mere week on the market? For the same reason a home sells any month of the year; the buyers were serious about making a purchase, and the home showed well and was priced attractively. In short, their grass was greener and nothing, not even the impediments of the holidays, was going to keep the hungry buyer away.

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