KIM COOPER: Snow sabotage

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Well, it couldn’t be avoided. Global warming and everything, yet still we find ourselves dealing with white stuff once again. At least it’s not too bad yet since it is still above freezing temperature most of the day. Still it’s enough of a change to compel would-be sellers to decline renewal or delay the listing of their property because they think somehow there is no market after snow falls.

Of course you know that is not the case. As any retail shopper knows holidays will soon be upon us. That usually means visitors to our communities who make their livelihoods elsewhere, but are drawn here for our winter’s beauty and activities or merely the warmth and comfort of friends and family. Those comforting times or activities in our snow covered playland leave people feeling warm about our area. Certainly a percentage of them will return, many of them to stay. Some of them will never leave and will look for their new home during their holiday visit.

We will admit that showing a home — although always inconvenient — is a bit more of a challenge during inclement weather. That’s why you are seeing beach towel displays replaced with boot and shoe trays. Even though it’s always a good idea for family entering through the garage, one of these trays near the front door will encourage agents and potential buyers to remove their shoes before entering your home and minimize the inconvenience of tracking in snow and leaves. Those hospital type booties are a great idea, but they are not waterproof, so won’t prevent tracking up your floors.

So we agree. It can be inconvenient, so why would anyone want their home on the market in the winter? Likely it is because they want to sell it. People sell homes for a variety of reasons all year-round. Death does not choose a season to aid people’s passing. Employers are seeking good employees year-round, so folks need to move to accommodate those employers. People get divorced all year-long, so the need for a house becomes the need to dispose of one and get two. Summer or winter life goes on and circumstances dictate how and where many of us will live. The difference is that in the summertime people are caught up in a vacationer’s mind-set. Any real estate agent can share stories of county tours with parties who only feigned interest in local real estate to have a guide for a day or a weekend.

Anyone who has ever held an open house in the summer can tell you of the folks who want to check out local real estate to compare to their own “back home.” And although we welcome these people into our community and into your home, we know they are not serious. Let’s face it, looking at houses for some is like looking for antiques to others. It’s an interesting undertaking that is free as long as you don’t buy anything, but still you learn about the market.

Winter can be a great time to list and sell a home. Don’t let weather or your own biases keep your home off the market just when gatherings will be taking place bringing potential buyers to town. Those folks looking from now until the cherry blossoms bloom will be far smaller in number, but far more committed than those who come after.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

• • •

Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling 208-667-0664.

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