Winter Brings Dangers For Agents, Buyers, and Owners
Updated: Jan 11
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 more fresh snow covering the evergreen trees it looks like the quintessential holiday season all-around Lake Tahoe. The beginning of December also marks the annual inventory reduction of properties for sale in our community.
With the number of homes and condos for sale on the Incline Village MLS down to only 65 properties, this is the lowest inventory level we have seen since before I can remember. Many agents and sellers, including myself, 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 declines dramatically after the Thanksgiving holiday. 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 resulting in broken bones that keep our local emergency room rather busy. Falling snow and ice also cause numerous injuries. 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.
If you are planning to have your home listed for sale over the winter months, make sure to have a full season snow removal contract with a local provider, an ice chopper, shovel and snow melt ready on the exterior of your home and a few extra towels in the entryway for prospective buyers and agents a lie to remove their wet boots and shoes before walking through your home.
Sabrina Belleci is the Owner / Broker of RE/MAX Gold – North Lake in Incline Village, NV & Kings Beach, CA. License number B.1001929.LTD – 775-354-9745- Sabrina@remaxnorthtahoe.com