By Holly Henbest

What do Valentine’s Day and Real Estate have in common? For vacation home buyers and locals, it’s the best time of year to fall in love with homes!

The snowbirds flock here to escape the chills and enjoy the thrills of our sunny activities – pool time, hiking, biking, golfing, tennis, outdoor dining, outdoor shopping and more! Our resorts boast not only stunning pools, lazy rivers and fine dining, but also world-class spas. We also have major events that bring visitors, who often turn into vacation home buyers including Barrett-Jackson, Phoenix Open and Spring Training!

For locals, moving in the summer is often less than ideal because really…who wants to be packing and unpacking when it’s 110 degrees outside? Plus, many locals plan extended summer vacations (they call us “Zonies” in San Diego for a reason!)

The combination of snowbirds and locals desiring a spring move vs. a summer move puts the Spring in high gear for real estate. We typically tell Buyers that if you’re looking to buy a home and can’t find one, the Spring will bring an influx of inventory, so just wait a bit. We also tell Sellers that there are more Buyers in the Spring, so it’s a good time to list. With inventory currently at record lows, we can’t express enough how this is a great time to list your home for sale. At the time of writing this article, there were only seven homes for sale in the 85054 zip code of Desert Ridge and 33 homes in the 85050 section of Desert Ridge & Tatum Highlands combined. That does not support the current and anticipated demand for the area.

If you are listing your home for sale, here are some tips for attracting those vacation and snowbird buyers. Keep in mind that they are buying the home to enjoy on future vacations, meaning that you want the home to be similar to a hotel – clean, bright and worry-free. So, make any necessary repairs prior to showing the home. They don’t want to walk into work, they want to walk into fun!

• Showcase Outdoor Amenities: Pool, spa, BBQ, fire pit – they want to see all the fun they can have at home!
• Landscaping: Ensure you are weed-free and replace any dead or missing plants – they are used to what hotel grounds look like.
• Landscape Lighting: Add lighting if needed or replace any broken lights – they will drive by at night to check it out!
• Nearby Activities: Include information about nearby golf, spas, hiking and more.

Our most important tip for selling your home to vacation buyers is flexibility. Have your home ready to show on short notice. When people are on vacation, they make last minute decisions to look at homes and their schedules are in flux based on their golf game, lunch plans and hiking excursions. They aren’t the best planners and while buying a home is important to them, their fun is typically a higher priority. They may run late or spend a long time in your home too, so keep in mind that they are in vacation mode and not moving at a regular pace.

We wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Home Buying and Selling Season!

Holly has been a Desert Ridge resident since 2000 and has been a Realtor since 2006. She is the Leader of The Henbest Team with Realty One Group. Holly is ranked in the top ½ of 1 percent of Realtors in Arizona and is a Certified Luxury Marketing Expert. She was also ranked #24 in 2019 by the Phoenix Business Journal and recognized by So Scottsdale Magazine as a Real Estate Superstar for 2019.