More rain?!? Enough already. My new yard can't absorb much more. With news that the drought has officially been declared "over" due to the highest recorded rainfall in decades, it's comforting to know that we can run our sprinklers once again (although we may not need to for some time). Now can Governor Brown please let the clouds know? While I'm deeply grateful for the abundance of precipitation this year, can I just state for the record that I'm more than ready for a string of WARM, SUNNY DAYS!
I'm ready to barbecue on the new grill Cliff and I installed in the backyard this winter, ready to hit the beach with the new puppy in tow, ready to harvest some of the spring blossoms, ready to watch baseball without a rain delay, AND ready to put the umbrellas and rain coats away. (What are your ready for?)
Spring isn't just my favorite season because it's incredibly alive and abundant - especially here in Piedmont where everyone's stunning gardens seem to be on display - but because it also signals the season when Buyers and Sellers are most active (and when I tend to refill my dwindling coffers after a winter of scant sales activity - unfortunately, just in time to pay taxes!)
For Sellers who contacted us last fall, we've already put their properties on the market, or have scheduled them for the weeks up ahead. We've got workman, painters, window washers, haulers, stagers and gardeners all working behind the scenes to get things up and running, which makes for a more methodical entry into the marketplace. Yes, it's a ton of work, yes, it's invasive, yes, it's inconvenient, but it's not unexpected. Like a chess game, everyone's on board and everyone has a part to play.
Meanwhile, prepared Buyers will have met with their mortgage lenders by now and created a plan around how to buy in heavy competition. Their lender's advice will undoubtedly include organizing tax returns and W-2s, paying down any outstanding debt, opening credit lines if none exist, and factoring in gifts or other lines of income. And for many Buyers, it may even include selling their house first, before identifying their replacement property. With a good plan in place, such Buyers will certainly be ready to make an aggressive offer when the opportunity presents.
BUT for other less-directed Buyers and Sellers, they'll come across their next home almost by chance, OR will unexpectedly find themselves in different circumstances, OR will be transferred to another city for work, OR will hear about an opportunity they can't stand to pass up, and will thus, require a much faster turnaround time. They weren't expecting to move, but now they are. (It's 'PANIC time!')
No worries, whether quickly or slowly, we're here to help. When necessary, I can write an offer within a few hours (although I prefer a few days), or create a marketing plan that puts us on the fast track with the goal of bringing your home to the public in a few short weeks, instead of a few months. It will be a whirlwind of activity to be sure, and you'll need to rely heavily on faith and trust (and Xanax), but together, we can absolutely get the job done.
In such circumstances, having a well-tuned machine is vital to quickly getting your house to the market, which not only includes myself and my full-time project manager, Jill, but the entire GRUBB Co. team of agents, marketers, photographers and escrow coordinators all invested in your success as well. (Yes, it really does take a village to sell or buy a home.)
The best course of action - whether we think we are going to move or not - is to keep our homes in good working order and clutter free on an ongoing basis. (It's a small price to pay to keep our options open . . .)
Take a moment to look at your home with a critical eye (the way a Realtor or an inspector does). Are there cracks in the ceiling and walls? Is the roof leaking? Are the gutters clogged with debris? Do the rooms need painting? Is the carpet old and in need of replacement? Have vines overtaken the house? Should you rethink the landscape out front? (Yes, you probably should.) Are the appliances outdated? Do the bathrooms need repair or renovation? Are the windows painted shut? Are the attic and basement stuffed to the rafters with cast-off items no longer needed? Do the light bulbs need replacing? When is the last time you weeded, pruned, or mulched? (Seriously, when?)
In short, what's not working - and hasn't been for years? (Shabby is only "chic" if it's deliberate.)
While some of these items require more investment and forethought, many of them need little more than a ladder and some elbow grease to set things straight. In either case, wouldn't it be nicer to enjoy the upgraded improvements to your home while you can still enjoy them, rather than to wait for your Realtor to instruct you to address them for the sale? (Yes, it would.)
In spite of the continued rains, spring is here (which means spring cleaning is here as well). Purge, clean, repair, have a garage sale, or donate, but let's get to work to ensure that no matter what life throws your way, you'll be "right as rain" when and IF you need to be. Let's achieve your goals, whatever they may be, and no matter how they may come.
How can I help you?
Check out my Instagram at: piedmontrealtorgirl
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.