Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Showings

Here's a challenge!

The world doesn't stop spinning, especially in Central New York, just because of a little snow. Over the weekend I swear we got two feet of snow - Bob had the snowblower out three times and there are two feet built up on the table on the deck. I had several showings of houses scheduled.

Except for the treacherous roads which prevented some people from making the showings, they went well.

I pulled up to the first house a few minutes early, knowing it was vacant and could be a problem. Equipped with a hat, gloves, jeans and a warm jacket I pulled the blue shovel I keep for occasions like these out of the Scion and got to work. Within a few minutes I had a path shoveled right to the door. The only issue was that the shoveling uncovered ice beneath and exposed it, but it didn't expose the uneven pavement. We worked around it.

I was very pleased to find that the house was heated, very pleased! So many of the vacant houses are winterized - I stood in one frozen to my core last week. (Of course, that one didn't even have a heat source. Once an owner moves out the propane tank that was "leased" is removed.) During the first showing it was colder inside than outside. And damp with no dehumidifier running either.

This year I have my electrified vest, but that stops heating after a few hours. And it doesn't heat my nose. Buyers don't generally come prepared to stand around in freezers, either.

I urge every Realtor who has a vacant property over these cold months to plow the driveway, have the walkway shoveled to the door and salted if need be, and keep the house heated to at least 60 degrees. Winterize if you must - frozen pipes are not a selling point - but leave a few lights burning or on timers. I believe that the longer a buyer remains in a house, the better the chances are that he/she will buy it. And it's better for the house, too. (Not to mention the Realtor so kindly showing the property, and the buyers willing to risk life and limb to see it....)