Monday, December 20, 2010

Real Estate During the Holiday Season

Every year it is a debate whether or not to leave a house on the market during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years. I tell my clients that it is a personal decision. First off, it is very unlikely that their house is going to get an offer if it is not on the market. Second, traffic should be light but those that are looking are most likely serious buyers. But if you struggle with keep the house ready to show the rest of the year, it could be even more difficult with shopping and wrapping and baking and other festivities. It is a person decision.

This year I had one young family that decided to pull their house off the market in the middle of November. With two young girls, they wanted to concentrate on the spirit of Christmas and not the spirit of real estate. I understood completely but three weeks after we pulled it off the market I got a phone call from an agent that had showed it previously. After discussing it with my client, we decided to put it back on the market for 14 days. Guess what? Within 24 hours we had two offers and we put a sale pending sign out front.

Another young family had already purchased a new home and decided to tough it out and leave their house on the market. We only had a couple of showings but did receive and accept an offer. A third listing received an offer, but after going back and forth a couple of times, we did not come to terms and the discussions stopped. And here it is the week before Christmas and another listing has two showings scheduled and one promising showing took place over the weekend.

My guess is that most of this activity is being driven by higher interest rates. After months and months of unbelievably low rates, they have inched up for the five last weeks and so buyers that have been kicking lots of tires are suddenly putting in purchase offers. I don’t blame them!

I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday. My photo above was taken at Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park. They have a beautiful poinsettia display and for the next two Friday evenings they will be open till 9 pm with an incredible light display. The cost is $3 at the door.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't Do Windows?? Then Hire Them Out!!

It's no secret that houses are not flying off the market like they were a few years ago.  Buyers are as picky as ever and tend to look at everything on the market before they make a decision.  If you're trying to sell your home, it's important that it shows as well as possible.  Over the next few weeks, I plan  to provide some general information about getting your house in tip-top showing condition.

Last week I attended an engineer inspection and the buyer told me when she walked into the kitchen and saw the afternoon sunlight streaming in, she knew she had to have that house.   With Rochester's grey season just about upon us, it is especially important that windows are clean to allow every bit of sunlight in that is available.  And when there is a daytime showing or open house scheduled, be sure to open all drapes and let as much light as possible into your home.

  Another cost-free trick to have your home look its best, is to clear your kitchen counters of almost everything.  Pack away appliances, dish drainers and all unnecessary clutter.  The results will be amazing.  In a matter of minutes your ordinary kitchen will look like something in a catalog.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Veterans Day 2010
Originally uploaded by maryshelsby

Remembering all the men and women of our Armed Forces who have and are keeping us safe. Thank you for all your sacrifices.
This shot was taken at the Vietnam Memorial at Rochester's Highland Park.

On a real estate note, one big change in the market is that investors are back! Perhaps they recognize the bargain basement prices out there, but I've heard from more investors in the past 30 days then I have the entire past two years.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It’s been almost a full year since I’ve made a serious post to my blog. It’s not that I’ve forgotten about it or lost interest, I’ve just been distracted.

For one thing, I’ve become a photo-holic. I’ve always liked to take pictures but I realized it was a real problem when my camera up and died in September 2009 and I came unglued. I could not rest until I went out and bought a bigger and better model than what died. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about photography until I took the brand new Nikon D300 out of the box and realized I didn’t have a clue how to work it.

You learn by doing and so I set out to learn my camera by committing to posting one photo a day (on flickr) for an entire year. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall I’ve walked and scouted all over Rochester and the Finger Lakes for a photo worthy of posting. Up before dawn, fell in a snowdrift and have gotten lost at least a half dozen times, but it’s been a blast. You can view my set of photos here:

I live next to Highland Park in the city of Rochester, and so I accumulated a large number of photos of the park. Last month I decided to put together a collection of my park photos into a book, which I titled “More than Lilacs! Rochester’s Highland Park.” Not quite a best seller, but I am pleased with the number of copies sold to date. You can preview and order the book here:

Oh, and I’ve been selling real estate too! But with my 365 Day Project and published book behind me, I promise to reengage in my blog project and keep you up to date on the Rochester real estate market.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Two Awesome New Listings

Beautiful 3 bedroom colonial in Irondequoit is being offer for $109,000.  The property features a newer roof, furnace, bathroom and many new windows.  The beautiful living room is large with a wood burning fireplace.  The kitchen is eat-in plus there is a formal dining room.  Be sure to stop by and see this property on Sunday, August 8 from noon till 1:30. The address is 463 Harwick Road, Rochester, NY  14609. It's sure to sell fast!

For more photos and details, visit: 

The second listing is in Henrietta.  This beautifully maintained ranch is a perfect starter home or down-sizer!  The home features all new windows, and updated kitchen and bath as well as a 2 and half car attached garage.  Priced to sell quick at $119,000.  For all the details, check out

Located at 69 Zornow Dr in Henrietta, this property will be open Sunday, August 8 from 2:00 till 3:30!


Monday, May 31, 2010


Originally uploaded by maryshelsby

Taken at the Viet Nam Memorial at Rochester's Highland Park. I wish you a fun and safe Memorial Day and hope you will take a moment to remember those that gave their life so that we live free.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time Flies

Gosh, it's the middle of February and the blog still screams "Happy Holidays!" No, I've not gotten fat and lazy this winter. It's been extremely busy.

I started the new year on January 2nd, by working with three different buyers that day and I've been running ever since. Just as predicted, the spring market hit Rochester early this year even if the weather was still winter-like. And for all the running, houses are not flying off the market. It seems that there is a lot of looking, a lot of tire-kicking and a lot of sitting on the fence but not a lot of contract writing.

As an example, I showed a house to one of my clients last week that had been on the market for six weeks. She liked it and we wrote an offer, a decent offer although not full price. Within several hours of our offer being submitted, there were two additional offers submitted and the property sold for more than asking but not to my buyer. When I asked the listing agent where these offers came from he explained that the people had looked at the property weeks early but weren't willing to write until they thought someone else was going it get it. They sat on the fence, hoping the price would drop and instead had to pay over asking to procure the property.

I did land a case of pneumonia this week and while laying low recuperating, I sorted through some photographs I've taken of Rochester this winter and put together a slide show. I hope you enjoy it.