Okay, so the cool evenings will bring the commencement of all the colors of Fall into our area. Days have become much shorter; nights cool down a lot faster, and one starts thinking of hot soups and stews, and hot cocoa spiked with Schnapps. Dear, party-loving “Summer-friends” start packing up as they head to warmer climes and winter homes in southern US and Bigfork village is “returned” to the group of locals who will weather out the winter months. But, if you ask any local what is his favorite time of year, resoundingly you will “Fall”. Yes, cool crisp air, sweater-weather, fog laying over the rivers, V-formations of geese overhead, and a multitude of reds, golds, purples are painted on the canvas called Bigfork. Though the real estate season has slowed down considerably, there remain the buyers who feel that better deals are to be had with the looming threat of winter. This is so. In fact, I still have buyers arriving. Some as far south as Alabama!
Last weekend, I played in the last golf tournament of the year at Eagle Bend. It’s appropriately named The World’s Hardest with tee boxes moved back to never-never-land and pin placements in the ugliest, meanest locations. It was an absolute HOOT! I highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure and humor. At the end of the day, after a grueling 6 hours of play, we gathered inside the clubhouse to celebrate our survival and I realized, once again, how very lucky I am to live here in Bigfork, MT. Smiling faces, laughter, the camaraderie of friends. It all makes you realize how important that is. Look, right now, we all know the world is not the way anyone would like it to be. Our economy is suffering. Our real estate market is aching. We all wish it would be cured soon, but until then, I can’t think of a better place to be than in Bigfork to be dealing with all this. We do have such a caring special community here, and that is so important. Wherever you are, my friend, look around you. Remember that if you have a roof over your head, food on the table, the love of friends and family, your health and a place to try to earn a living, you are far better off than so many people in the world. The name of the game is "holding power". Let's do this together!
It's a buyer's market out there, so making your home stand out amongst the growing inventory is hugely important. Bear in mind that those few moments of a first impression are critical whether the buyer is seeing it on the internet, driving by, or stepping in the front door with his Realtor. As a home owner, you need to be proactive in doing what it takes to make that first impression a lasting impression for the buyer.
Buying a house is largely an emotional decision because people are not just purchasing a home, they are buying a dream...a lifestyle. All humans being want comfort, excitement, prestige and love...and all these are at work in the psychology of the home purchase.
Effective staging maximizes those feelings, creating an atmostphere that makes people want to linger and imagine themselves living in that space. People have busy lives, they want to walk in, look around and say "I can see myself living here." I am a firm believer in staging a home before the first photos are taken for MLS. Buyers want bright, clean fresh smelling kitchens. They want soft, romantic bedrooms. De-cluttering a home makes it feel larger and allows the buyers to envision their own furnishings in it. It also the single most damaging item in first impressions.
Remember, clutter eats at your equity. Minor repairs left unattended create concern about deferred maintenance in general and lowers both value and interest.
Another matter that can make or break a solid contract are discoveries during a home inspection. For a few hundred dollars, you can have a certified home inspector test your home for defective or deficient items. I would also recommend including a radon test. If you use well water, have it tested. This allows you to fix or address these items before it becomes a form of re-negotiating your contract price and softens those urges of deal-killing buyer's remorse.
Lastly, we live in a techno-savvy society. Over 80% of today's buyers have already researched properties on-line before they have physically seen your home. When listing your home, make sure your listing agent has provided abundant and appealing photos of your home. It can make all the difference in the exposure of your home since both potential buyers and Realtors use these images to determine whether your home is selected and not that one down the street.
"One picture is worth a thousand words" says it all....
As a residential specialist, my niche has been resort and recreational properties in and around the artist village of Bigfork, MT. Bigfork is a quaint little town of nearly 4,000 residents wrapped around a small bay on the northeast corner of Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Most of my listings are in the golf community called Eagle Bend, a semi private course with 27 holes bordered by custom homes and town homes. I live at Eagle Bend, golf at Eagle Bend and keep our boat in the Eagle Bend Yacht Marina which borders the Flathead River near the mouth of Flathead Lake.
Golfing with the women's league on Tuesdays is a real treat not enjoyed as often as I would like because of my busy schedule. Finding deer grazing along the fairways is not uncommon at all here. We often see turkeys, fox, Canada geese, ducks, eagles and osprey,too.
The other day, I had just stepped of the tee box on the #9, hopped into my golf cart with my playing partner and began heading down the fairway when I noticed a large black shadow moving on the left side of the fairway. As it moved to the sunlight, I realized we were facing a young black bear, not a cub, but young enough to still have a very shiny black pelt of fur. I stopped the golf cart just about the time that he decides to sit and stare at us. A long, long moment passed when he finally accepted my granting him the right of way and proceeded to scurry across the fairway to the woods bordering the other side.
My partner and I just looked at each other, hearts pounding but thrilled no less to have just experienced another Montana experience.
By the way, I par'd that hole!