In describing a retreat, most people use words like “isolated,” or “cabin in the woods.” It might surprise you to know that the cities and towns in our foothills abound with retreats.
Many of them are typical urban, or maybe exurban homes, with all the amenities of indoor plumbing, central heat, and air conditioning.
In short, they’re a far cry from “rustic.”
Some local Realtors do a fair slice of business locating retreats for out-of-towners—and for good reason. We’re halfway between the Sierra ski slopes and the Pacific beaches. We offer a splendor of vineyards for wine-tasting, great trails for horseback riding, biking, and hiking, plus wild streams for rafting.
The growing popularity of our area as a place to launch adventures has produced a marketing advantage to a certain kind of home.
An ideal retreat is on the smallish side, but offers a great den or family room where the owners and their guests can gather. Sleeping lofts are as good as bedrooms, and the landscaping is not the kind that requires daily care. The largest pieces of furniture are often sold as part of the deal, and sometimes everything including the tableware.
In an ascending market, a home like this is an easy sell to local buyers, but when sales are slow, a savvy agent knows how to work harder to reach out to the getaway market.
Beyond the usual sign in the front yard, newspaper ads, and an on-line video, there lies a world of niche sites and publications to tempt skiers, wine-lovers, equestrians, and kayakers.
If you’re selling a home that might be someone’s perfect retreat, your interview with prospective agents should include some questions about their experience in attracting out-of-town buyers.
• How would they reach them?
• What would be the appeal?
• Have they sold a retreat before?
• Do they have business contacts outside the area?
Thanks to the use of modern marketing techniques, the new owner of a retreat could come from anywhere. It could be someone who lives halfway across the country, or your neighbor’s second cousin. You deserve an agent who knows how to reach and beguile both kinds of prospects.
Nikki Holmes is Broker/Owner of Gold Rush Realty. Annie Holmes is publicist for GoldStar Homes & Gold Rush Realty, Inc. Reach them at Holmes@GSHomes.biz (530) 906-7745, or at Gold Rush Realty offices in Auburn or Fair Oaks.