My answer to anyone complaining about the weather is: “I have no idea how it happens but somehow we’re all shocked that winter comes every year!” (I also adapt that for Christmas!) As Canadians we are hit with crazy “Stormmagedon’s”, freezing rain and other traitorous conditions and yet as REALTORS® I think we truly get the short end of the winter stick.
We’re out showing houses, trying to look professional while wearing our most fashionable parkas and waterproof boots. Keeping a conversation going as we bang around a lockbox trying to unfreeze it while the buyers, and REALTORS ® alike, try not to freeze to death. And then killing ourselves as we haul ourselves up to show a cottage where no one but a man with a dog sled should be permitted to go. Yes we do it all, with blue lips and a smile.
Here are a few tips for maintaining your cool this winter (pun intended):
You’re going to be taking your boots on and off repeatedly (fingers crossed). So wear waterproof boots that are easy to get on and off so you aren’t featuring your soaking wet feet or ceremonial dance moves as you hop around trying to get them done up
Take snow covered photos of your listings to be shown on REALTOR.ca. A home covered in snow can look very different than the green or fall coloured home you’re featuring on the web. Make sure when buyers see your properties they will be able to pick it out of the lineup as they drive by.
Signs will get run over and destroyed by plows. Put your For Sale signs in further than normal so you won’t be looking for it once the snow melts. As well, if you’re able to put Open House signs out prior to the weekend check the forecast. You don’t want to have a huge snowfall ensuring that your Open House sign is buried for no one, including yourself, to find.
4. Lights, Shovel, etc
Remind your sellers to have outside lights turned on if they have an evening showing. With the days still fairly short it’s inevitable that your listings will be shown in the dark. You don’t want anyone to slip on black ice because they couldn’t’ see where they were walking. It is also smart for your sellers to either shovel, or arrange for someone to shovel, all walkways and parking spaces. It helps the home show much better and limits the chances of injuries.
It makes a difference when showing a house if the heat is turned up and the fireplace is roaring versus a cold vacant home. Try to arrive early to unoccupied houses and get the heat turned up. This will ensure clients are comfortable in the home and can really look at it.
Winter stinks no matter what way you look at it (ok when I’m sitting on a chairlift on a beautiful day or skating down the canal I see it differently). But the market still moves and houses still sell. So don’t hermit yourself in your cave for the next six weeks. Get out there and make the most of it.