One of the things I like best about my job as a Realtor in Reno: Helping people across the life spectrum realize their real estate goals.
In the last month I had four terrific transactions that illustrate this.
After owning a lovely home on 2.5 acres with a spectacular view off Lakeside Drive in Southwest Reno for nearly 30 years, my clients decided to downsize. They purchased this property in the 1980s. The home offers timeless design with vaulted, beamed ceilings, large rooms — and an unbeatable view. They also decided to sell the 2.5-acre undeveloped lot next door, which they bought to protect their view. The combined list price topped $1.6 million.
These two properties went on the market in mid-July, accompanied by a strong marketing campaign that included regional, national and international exposure. I also held numerous open houses.
In just over a month, the sellers accepted an offer for 99% of list price for both properties from one buyer. The two properties closed 76 days after being listed.
That’s an interesting statistic. Comparable resale properties priced at $1 million or more in Reno this year took 210 days to close and sold for about 94% of list price.
Several factors helped this sale: A home in excellent condition, a desirable location and proper pricing. Each played a key role in delivering value to the sellers for their long-term investment.
A word to open house skeptics: The buyers came through the open house “just to see it.” They fell in love with it and knew it was “their home.” Never discount the value of hosting an open house!
Working from Home
Some Realtors shun working with buyers. Not me. Relocation is a specialty. As a journalist writing about real estate, economic development, schools, neighborhoods and special events for 15-plus years I know the nuances and micro-neighborhood characteristics of nearly every corner of Northern Nevada. I use the knowledge I’ve gained to match buyers with properties that fit their wants and needs.
This month, a couple relocating here from Arizona chose me to negotiate the purchase of their ideal home in the Wingfield Springs area of Sparks. The $449,900 property had everything they wanted — including no backyard neighbors and great mountain views.
Wingfield Springs, a master planned community in Spanish Springs Valley north of Reno-Sparks.
Telecommuters and consultants like these buyers choose to base themselves in Northern Nevada for numerous reasons, including:
- Taxes: Nevada’s lack of income tax gives them an instant raise
- Location: Set at the base of the Sierra Nevada, finding outdoor adventure means opening the front door. World-class skiing, biking, off-roading, hiking, kayaking take mere minutes to access. Plus, it’s easy to get to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
- Weather: Four seasons, combined with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, is tough to beat.
- Affordability: Californians — and those from high property tax states — are amazed at what their housing dollars can buy here. People moving from the Midwest or the South, are shocked at housing costs. The prices are somewhat offset by lack of income tax and relatively low property tax. For many new Nevadans the price vs less tax may balance out.
This month, I helped a lovely family finally close on their first home. They found their dream home in the Cold Springs neighborhood about 18 miles from downtown Reno. The house needs some updating, but they bought a 2,700-square-foot home that works for their family for $293,000.
Cold Springs — an area of moderately priced homes about 25 minutes from downtown.
This transaction had many “hiccups” along the way right up until the morning they signed. It nearly didn’t close, but thanks to a truly dedicated team that included the lender, the escrow company, the listing agent and me, it came together. A day late — but it happened because none of us gave up. The family could not be more grateful, and it is truly satisfying to deliver the key to people who worked so hard to become home owners.
Many people struggle to buy their first home. Income, credit score, job history all play into qualifying for a mortgage. Finding a lender that offers a “road to home ownership” and a loan officer willing to take on complex loans is key. In Nevada, people with moderate incomes qualify for various financial grant programs, rural housing loans and other incentive programs to help buy a home.
Across the price spectrum
Sellers and buyers hire Realtors to protect and promote their real estate wants, needs and goals. That’s more complex than many people realize. Negotiating happens at every stage — not just on price and contract terms, but throughout the process with inspectors, repair people, lenders, escrow and title officers. Many transactions have at least one serious challenge, when one side or the other (sometimes both) get s angry or disappointed at some aspect of the process. Emotions run high when money is on the line. Staying calm and finding a way to satisfy both sides to reach a win-win solution takes patience, skill and determination. It’s the best job I have ever had.
Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno, Nevada. You can reach her at hodriscoll@ChaseInternational.com or 775-850-5900.
Visit her real estate website https://hollyodriscoll.chaseinternational.com