"Did you fall asleep before the end of the show?" my husband teased, knowing the answer without having to ask. (Why yes, I did.)
I don't know if my nodding off in front of the TV is a function of genetics (I still remember my dad snoring in his recliner each night), of hard work, or of advancing age, but with each passing year, I tend to wake up earlier and earlier; thus, I now struggle to stay awake much past 9:30 at night. (Okay, I'm dull.)
On the flip side, these early hours allow me to accomplish a LOT of tasks while most people are still in their beds fast asleep . . . like exercise (what???) gardening (that counts as exercise, right?), banking, laundry, housekeeping, walking the dog, answering email, drafting contracts, scheduling inspections, reading reports, etc., etc., etc. (Gee, looking at this list, maybe I should try that sleep thing more often.)
In any case, (and much to Cliff’s consternation), my internal clock goes off well before dawn, which means I’m up with the roosters and typically, very, VERY productive. (Okay, so I have control issues. I’m working on it.)
We’re deep into the Fall Market, as real estate goes, so most of our upcoming listings are already in production. We’ll see new opportunities continue to come on until Thanksgiving and then the market will take a nap until next year. For those of you thinking of selling in 2019, this isn’t the time to rest. Nor, as a Buyer, is it the time to doze off. Fall and winter markets statistically experience less demand which gives Buyers a much better shot than when seven or eight competitors are vying for the same property. My advice? Stay awake and BID! The Fall Market can be the opportunity you've been waiting for. Otherwise, you may be looking at next year, come Thanksgiving.
While next year seems far off; it will arrive before you know it. Then you should expect the interest to swell once again as more Buyers join those who were unsuccessful in 2018. Just keep in mind that while the Spring market brings more inventory, it also attracts far more competition. (That's why I'm encouraging you to buy now.)
But even if you have NO plans to buy or sell a home this year, fall is an excellent time to tackle some of those “chores” that require ongoing maintenance and repair (and ALL homes require ongoing maintenance and repair; that's just the nature of the beast.)
In other words, I don’t want you lulled into a long slumber and miss this opportunity to buy now OR begin preparations today for what’s likely to be another robust year in 2019 (especially with several IPOs on the horizon). By the time you call me in January, you'll be in line behind other anxious Sellers (who reached out in the fall) for painters, landscapers and stagers. In short, don't hit the snooze button!
In the meantime, here’s a list of my “To Dos” I tackle this time of year (and by “I,” I mean hire out or assign to my boys and husband, which may explain why the boys don’t come home as often as I’d like.)
And if you’ve been on the fence about whether to sell or not, that's okay, you still have plenty of time to make that decision. The Bay Area marketplace remains a desirable commodity, thus market predictions still tend to favor Sellers for the foreseeable future.
Correction or not, bubble or not, overvalued or not (it's all relative), for most of us, our homes represent our single-largest investment. As such, it only makes sense (and cents) to treat our properties as if we're going to bring them to market - whether or not we are, whether or not the market adjusts, whether we want to, or not. In short, it's never a mistake to keep your house in good working order. I promise, you can take a nap after you've done your chores. (Cliff, are you hearing me?)
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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.