Category Archives: Sapphire Calendar

Is Listing in Sapphire in Winter a Good Idea? The Definite Answer

11-25-winterIf you intend on listing your Sapphire home sometime soon, this is the time of year when you may well be uncertain about whether you should go ahead right now, or hold fire and wait. The question is whether winter is a reasonable time to enter the Sapphire listings when, after all, it’s common knowledge that spring and summer are the most active real estate seasons. Is that fact alone reason enough for not listing now?

I happen to know the answer (it’s “maybe”). But since that’s only my opinion, in the interest of including a wider sampling of opinion, here are some experts’ ideas gleaned from extensive research on the subject. (Okay—there are 155,000,000 Google entries for ‘should I list my house in the winter’, but this research only took about five minutes):

⦁ From some sources: yes (“Homes listed in winter sell faster–46 days vs 55 days”—Redfin).
⦁ From the other sources (especially when you ask in spring): no.

As is clear from that extensive research, expert opinions are divided, probably based on when you’re asking. If you come to the conclusion that no conclusion is likely to be valid, I share that. But that doesn’t mean you have no basis for making your own decision. Here is why ‘maybe’ is not just a correct answer—it’s also a helpful one.

The fact is that winter (actually, fall and winter) are seasons when the number of buyers drops off, which results in fewer total sales. The same fact creates an atmosphere that causes fewer sellers to decide to enter the Sapphire listings. In fact, some sellers who have had properties on the market actively withdraw them from the listings, figuring that they might as well wait until spring to reintroduce them. Fewer properties for sale also means that buyers see less variety available, so some of them also decide (you guessed it) to give up the search until spring.

If this sounds like a vicious circle, it is.

But there is also a counter fact that’s easily overlooked. Those who begin house hunting at this time of year are more likely to be more determined to find a home, pronto. Those who are doing their real estate scouting amid all the holiday hustle and bustle are likely to be responding to some kind of time pressure. And from the sellers’ standpoint, there are fewer Sapphire listings— thus less competition. Serious buyers …less competition… EUREKA!

So winter is the best time to list a Sapphire property, right? No. The answer is still ‘maybe.’

The reason has to do with your own individual situation. Because there are fewer buyers actively looking, there is a lesser likelihood that THE buyer will find his way to your door. The one who appreciates your home enough to snap it up is more likely to be shopping when there are more shoppers. Other cautions have to do with whether you are willing to put your home into top shape for sale in winter weather—as well as being willing to be ready for showings during the holiday season.

The bottom line is if time is a factor—and you have reason to want to sell now rather than at some time in the future, this winter is the right time to enter the Sapphire listings. If there is no pressing reason why it’s important sell as soon as possible, you could as easily hold fire until later.

That’s why ‘maybe’ is as valid an answer as you are likely to get. And no matter how you decide, when you are ready to sell (actually, a bit before you’re ready) it’s definitively the right time to give me a call!

Ideas for Selling Your Sapphire Home to Empty-Nesters

4-29-emptynestOne strategy for selling your Sapphire home is to recognize the segment of the general public most likely to appreciate its inherent features, then be sure your sales approach will appeal to them. That doesn’t mean you will turn your back on all the other groups of buyers, of course—but it does mean you will make a deliberate effort to be especially sensitive to that group’s preferences, and highlight the features that are most likely to top their wish lists.

When the Target Audience is Empty-Nesters…

The majority of current Sapphire empty-nesters belong to the baby boomer generation. They are somewhere between 50 and 68 years of age, and there are about 75 million of them in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of the population. Empty-nesters are parents who currently don’t have any of their kids living with at home. Most empty-nest buyers are looking for a permanent address to settle down in as they hit their later years. The question is, what features make a home most desirable to empty nesters?

Moderate Space

What can be slightly tricky about general rules for selling a home to this population is that although most are set on downsizing, they don’t want to feel shoehorned into their space, either. Empty-nesters are often moving out of a home that has become demonstrably too large after the kids moved out. But that can also mean that they are used to a lot of space—probably don’t want to be crammed into a tiny house that can’t accommodate children and grandchildren when they do come to visit.

It’s going to be a compromise. “Moderate space” would most likely be no more than 3 bedrooms and no fewer than 2—with two bathrooms the norm. This description offers nesters the possibility of catering to hobbies on a day-to-day basis, while still allowing some accommodations for guests. More significant properties—those with 4 or more bedrooms— are more likely to find success by marketing messaging that points toward growing families.

Easy to Maintain

As always, it’s a selling ‘must’ to ensure that your Sapphire home is shipshape! When prospects are able to see how much care you’ve put into your property, they are that much easier to interest than when it’s clear they will be required to come up with their own extra sweat and budget dollars. When you know that part of your preparation will include replacements, it’s a good idea to emphasize ease of maintenance in your choices. Examples are gutters that are shielded, windows that tilt up for easy cleaning inside and out, etc.

Whether or not your home is likely to attract Sapphire empty-nesters, knowing what part of the market will have the most likely prospects—and how to shape the sales messaging accordingly—is part of the no-obligation consultation I offer everyone who is deciding how they will go about selling their home.

Give me a call to schedule one this week!

Fun Things to do in Highlands NC Area This Month

When people think of the North Carolina mountains, perhaps one of the most vivid images that come to mind is the brilliant fall foliage and the beautiful blooms in springtime.

What many people might not be aware of, however, is all of the incredible events that go on all summer long in the Highlands, NC area.

From festivals to 5Ks, there’s always something fun and exciting going on.

Relocating to the Highlands, Lake Toxaway, and Cashiers Area

Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing activities that you and your family could be enjoying this month if you were living in the Highlands, NC area.

Group Hiking: The Nantahala Hiking Club regularly hosts group hikes.  Contact this Franklin-Highlands area club to find out when the next hiking excursion will be.

  • When: Various days throughout summer
  • Where: Throughout the Highlands, NC area
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Call 369-6820 or visit

State Parks Visit: Some state parks, including the Gorges State Park, is free to the public.  This Transylvania County Park features trails, waterfalls, picnic areas and campsites.  It’s quite popular among the locals in the Highlands, NC area.

  • When: Anytime during park hours
  • Where: Transylvania County
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Call 966-9099.

Highlands Area Triathlon: During this triathlon – which features individual and relay team options – you’ll participate in a 250-yard swim, 9 mile cycle and 5K run.  Those interested can register at

  • When: 8 a.m. on June 25
  • Where: Valdese Aquatic Center
  • Admission: Prices vary
  • More Info: Visit

Brevard Rotary Firecracker 5K/10K: The 16th annual 5K and 10K races will take place in downtown Brevard and is a great way to get to know your neighbors!

  • When: 8 a.m. on July 4
  • Where: Downtown Brevard, 299 S. Broad St.
  • Admission: Entry fee is $25 for the 5K and $30 for the 10K ($5 more after June 26), $20 for students 18 and younger and seniors age 65 and older.
  • More Info: Visit

Investing in Highlands, NC Area Real Estate

As you can see, there’s always something fun, new and exciting going on in the Highlands, NC area.

If you’ve been thinking about making the Highlands, NC area your permanent home, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, your Highlands, NC real estate expert.

I’ll answer any questions you might have about living here, let you know about available listings in the area, as well as provide you with a number of invaluable Highlands area home buyer resources.

These helpful tools include:

Until next time,