Real Estate Information Archive


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Real Estate in the Fall and Winter

by DeLois Smith

You Can Buy and Sell Real Estate During the Holidays


It's common knowledge that most people are advised to get their home on the real estate market in late spring or early summer as that is 'real estate season.' While the majority of homes do sell in the spring and summer, listing your home or looking for a home during the holidays or in the winter is not as taboo as some would lead you to believe. There are actual benefits to listing or looking for a home during the holidays, and if you've missed out on the real estate scramble of the spring and summer, starting a home search or listing your home now might just be in your best interest. Here are some of the top reasons why you shouldn't avoid listing your home, or looking for a home, during the holidays.

Buyers Never Stop Looking

Many would lead you to believe that the real estate market comes to a complete stand still during the holidays or in the winter, but that's not the case. Every state's real estate market is thriving year-round, and that even includes during the holiday season. Serious buyers never stop looking, and a serious seller (or a seller that wants or needs to sell their property) will keep their home or property on the market all year long. The holidays bring out the buyers and sellers that are determined -- they need something or want to sell now, and they're not willing to wait for the spring or summer.

Many people with school-age children want to wait to buy a new home when their kids are not in school, but the reality is that a family or anyone looking for a new home can move at any time of the year. Perhaps if you're in an area with inclement winter weather, you might want to put off your search or move until better weather arrives, but for those that live in a mild climate, moving in November or December is just as easy as moving in May or June. Buyers can also sign up for new listing emails, which alert them to whenever a new property has come on the market, and sellers have the ability to sign up for sellers reports, so they can stay on top of the market in their neighborhood.

Inventory and Competition

While it is known that home inventory is largest during the spring and summer months, the MLS always has homes and properties listed on it. Fall and winter will have properties available, but the number of properties will be lower. Unless you're totally transfixed on a certain home, or you have a list of needs and wants a mile long, you can be sure to find a property that will fit your housing needs throughout the year.

Despite the fact that inventory will be lower in the fall and winter, people still list their homes, especially if they are serious sellers. While the market is slower, it also is less competitive in terms of other buyers looking for homes. It's likely the fall and winter won't create scenarios of multiple, high dollar offers on one property; buyers and sellers alike will have more opportunities to actually think about offers, and especially for buyers, low competition guarantees that you're not making a rushed or rash decision based on emotions or other offers when you do find the perfect property.


This is specifically for buyers, but it's widely known that home prices slightly fall in the fall and winter when the market has cooled down and more serious sellers are keen to get a sale. This is mostly because real estate sales are seasonal. But that's not to say if you list your home in the fall or winter you're going to have to drastically slash the price in order for your property to sell. While it might sit on the market a little longer than it would in the spring or summer, fall and winter sales happen, and if you're a serious buyer or seller, you know you'll want to do all you can to make your dream of buying or selling a home a reality.

Homes Look and Feel Charming

You'll see a lot of articles on how to spruce up a home to ready it for the real estate market, and while the tips are definitely valuable, it's not a secret that many people decorate their homes over the holidays. There's something warm and inviting about a decorated home, or a home that feels cozy, and people who list their homes in the fall and winter can take advantage of a fireplace or wood stove to make a room more inviting.

If your property doesn't have a fireplace or wood stove, you can use candles and other things to make the home smell inviting to buyers. While it may seem cumbersome to sell a property during the holidays or in the winter, you do have some ways to play up the season. And if you are truly set on avoiding the holidays, you can always put it on the market the first of January, when the chaos of the holidays is over.

Pumpkin Pulp Will Scare Your Disposal To Death

by DeLois Smith

Put your pumpkin pulp into the trash to spare your disposal (and other plumbing pipes) a horrible death.


The pulp, seeds, and other guts you’re scraping out of pumpkins this week can kill your garbage disposal, so toss them in the trash or the compost pile instead. 

In a press release, Roto-Rooter warns home owners about the dangers of pumpkin pulp, saying its plumbers “remove gobs of it from clogged drains” during the Halloween season. “Plumbers know that frantic home owners will soon be complaining about pulp-clogged garbage disposals and stopped-up kitchen sink drains leading up to Halloween,” says Larry Rothman, Roto-Rooter’s plumbing director. "It's stringy and sticky, and when it dries and hardens it’ll choke off drainpipes and garbage disposals, creating all sorts of havoc."


Pumpkin guts haven’t been an issue for my household. But then again, we don’t have a garbage disposal. Year before last, we never got around to carving the pumpkin. It sat on the front porch, eventually shining in the glow of our Christmas lights. By January, it had rotted and fallen into the front flower bed, which led to a spring bumper crop of pumpkin vines. I did keep one of the vine sprouts and it produced a nice little pumpkin by fall.


Evidently, people flush pumpkin guts down the toilet, too, Rothman says, leading me to wonder if parents somewhere are trying to multi-task by combining bath time and pumpkin carving. "The toilet is not a better option,” he says. “It just means the clog forms a little further down the pipe."

An All American Journey

by Brenda Blackwell

     Have I ever mentioned to you how much I love my job as a Buyer Specialist for The DeLois Smith All-Star Team?  Not only is my work fun and rewarding, but the people I work with are amazing!  And working here provides me with so many opportunities that I would have never had if I had just simply retired from teaching.  For example, last month, my co-worker and dear friend, Linda Seifert and I decided to represent The DeLois Smith All-Star Team in support of our fabulous Miss Mississippi in Atlantic City!  Because neither of us had been to Boston, we thought why not…let’s go there too!  After conferring with our Boston clients, Bill and Mary Nolan who now live in Petal, we were pumped!  By the way…Bill and Mary bought a house here sight unseen!  Adam Watkins was their Realtor and he talked with and emailed them for over a year and found them their dream retirement home.  They are remarkable people and great friends!  See what I mean about this job?  Linda and I also got to visit Philadelphia (Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell) for about 3 hours.  That is another somewhat funny story that I may tell you one day…another “missing our flight” adventure!

     As a little girl, I was always glued to the television set the night of the Miss America Pageant.  It became a tradition… watching it with my mom and then in later years with groups of girlfriends and most recently with my own daughters and their friends.    For me, it has always been one of my favorite television nights…like the Super Bowl for men!  Despite the criticism of pageants, I think the Miss America Pageant celebrates female achievement!  Just take a look at our Miss Mississippi, Hannah Roberts.  What an accomplished young lady and role model she is!  I know Hannah and her mom personally and I am one of Hannah’s biggest fans!  I taught with her mom, Danna, at Seminary Elementary and taught Hannah reading in first grade.  Hannah is an exceptional person.  Her platform, “Pages of Love” was not a service project that she had to quickly invent as a requirement for the Miss Mississippi competition.  It was actually started by Hannah when she was in the sixth grade.  As a child who was often sick, she noticed that there were very few books for children in the waiting rooms.  She began collecting new and gently used books and distributing them to clinics, hospitals and children’s organizations. To this day she has collected and distributed over 26,000 books in five states and two countries.  Hannah is an Honor’s College student and Presidential Scholar.  She graduated summa cum laude with a Biochemistry degree and a minor in Biology from USM last May.   Not to mention, she was also awarded top senior in the College of Science and Technology, was one of only three students in Mississippi to win the National Barry Goldwater Scholarship for science research, and has already been accepted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine to pursue a career as a pediatric plastic reconstructive surgeon.  Not only excelling in academics, she is also an accomplished classical violinist and has been playing since the age of 5.  When she was in 11th grade she was named Mississippi’s Junior Miss and later named 2nd alternate to America’s Junior Miss.    She won Miss USM in 2013 and was named 1st runner-up to Miss Mississippi.  This year she won Miss USM again and was named Miss Mississippi 2015.  Seeing her named 1st Runner-up to Miss America and STEM Scholarship winner (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) was truly special.  Only 3 Miss Mississippi’s have been awarded 1st runner-up…Patsy Puckett in 1965 and Jane Ryan in 1967.  Mississippi, however, has had 4 Miss Americas!  Say what you will about beauty pageants, the scholarships awarded have certainly been appreciated by Hannah and her hardworking teacher parents! All of Hannah’s undergraduate studies have been paid for by scholarships and the $30,500 she won at Miss America is definitely helping pay for medical school!

     So to all pageant opponents who claim that Miss America contestants are sexist, lame, degrading and embarrassing…go ahead and celebrate /support the  Miley Cyrus’s and Kim Kardashians of the world in which may unassumingly become the role models for your little girls.  Humm?    As for me, I will continue to support the great values Southern traditions I was raised with…prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, In God We Trust, Merry Christmas, baseball, apple pie and Miss America contestants!

                                                                                                Southern Girls Rock!


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