Day: February 13, 2014

Real Estate and the Weather

Ugh- New England weather!  Try showing houses in this weather.

So what is the trick for getting many people to view a home on a freezing cold wet day?  Ah—the PRICE!  Nothing will warm a heart more than a perception of a deal.  Now it would help if the Realtor had a nice fire burning in the fireplace and maybe some coffee or hot chocolate and some delicious chocolate chip cookies to help warm the heart as well as the bones.  Of course, that leads to the truly mindless (rude) people who will walk around someone else’s home obliviously dropping crumbs all over the floor so the other open house attendees can grind those crumbs into the rugs.

This leads me to clueless (lazy-stupid) sellers.    If there is snow on the ground, PLEASE shovel your walk, throw down some ice melt and keep it clear.  If you have to get out there with a toothbrush to accomplish this, do it!  AND every day your house is on the market not just Sunday.  Nothing  panics a Realtor more than standing at the door of an open house cautioning people to; “watch the ice, hold on to the railing, hold your kids hand.”  We would rather be engaging the prospective buyers at your open house  pointing out how lovely the family room looks– helping them to imagine watching the next the Super Bowl in this very room with their friends and family.

This also brings me to my next pet peeve—removing shoes.  I know the floors are buffed and shiny and they look oh so beautiful but they can also be as slippery as an ice skating rink.  Now if the foyer is drop dead gorgeous and is the most beautiful room in the house, by all means, keep people there as long as possible.  If not, a Realtor should supply as large as mat as possible to provide a place to seriously wipe feet or place some construction booties over shoes.  It also isn’t a great experience when someone falls on those slippery floors or down the basement stairs.  Kind of puts a damper on the open house as a whole!  If your foyer is small, tight or just average, buyers will be thinking hmm… this foyer does not seem very welcoming.

Selling a house in the snow is not glamorous but it doesn’t have to be a chore either.  I truly believe that a serious buyer will come out in any weather to look at a home that meets their needs.  However, it is the Realtor’s job to make the experience as positive as possible.  A warm smile, well-lit rooms, to be engaging but not pushy and most importantly have a real knowledge of the house.  Know the answers to how many AMPs of electricity, how many zones of heat and A/C,   what is being built in the huge crater at the end of the street; can you walk to the schools, how far is it to the T or bus?  Basic knowledge and courtesy, that’s what buyers want and deserve.