Real Estate winter challenges in the Northeast

Real Estate Broker/Owner with JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 10491201242

The real estate winter challenges when showing homes


Real Estate winter challeges in the Northeast


We might not have the Post office motto, but real estate professionals probably come in a close second.

Although the weather outside is frightful, unlike last year buyers are out looking at homes.  These are serious buyers, who else would go out in this weather to look at homes?  Yet there are many real estate challeges in the winter in the Northeast. 


After a recent snowstorm I had several requests for showing.   I drove by one of my listings and was delighted to see that the long driveway had been cleaned.


I couldn’t help reflecting on the fact there are real estate challenges with winter showings.


Things seller should do to make a winter showing more pleasant and safe


  • Clear the driveway
  • Clean the path to the front door.
  • When necessary have visitors access the home through the garage.
  • Remove hanging icicles to avoid accidents.
  • Provide shoe covers to avoid the tracking of salt and snow into the house.
  • If you have a fireplace,  start a fire to add to the ambiance.
  • If you consider your drive and path unsafe do not approve a showing.




  • Pay close attention to the weather reports.  Taking unnecessary risk to see a home is not worth it.
  • Make sure your car is ready for winter weather, and there is  an emergency kit in the trunk.
  • Wear layers of clothing.
  • Most of all wear appropriate footwear.  This brought back memories of my first winter in the Northeast, I had my boots, fashionable but impractical.  No wonder I kept disappearing into the snow.




  • The listing agent need to be in touch with the seller to make sure the property is safe for showing.  This requires more co-ordination this time of year,  since the weather can deteriorate rather quickly.
  • If the property is vacant this is even more challenging.  The seller might have arrangement in place for plowing, however it might not be done in a timely fashion.
  • A buyer’s agent should check the weather, touch base with the listing agent and then advise the client, especially if the client is coming from a distance.
  • Buyer’s agent also need to have emergency kit, and shoe covering just in case the seller fail to have some on hand.  Client having a hard time removing their shoes will appreciate this.


Finding a home in the winter is doable especially with good planning.   If you would like assistance finding a home contact Jennifer Fivelsdal of JFIVE Homes Realty LLC

Originally posted at :  The Challenges of showing homes in the winter



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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There's been enough snow for two winters already! You gotta laugh at life sometimes, I guess.

Feb 06, 2015 03:13 PM #1
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Jennifer, this is great advice.  Your photo looks like a winter wonderland.  You have had more than your fair share of snow already this year.  Stay warm and dry.

Feb 06, 2015 03:16 PM #2
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Jennifer, great tips for all parties involved in a showing during constantly changing winter weather. 

If the owner is selling a vacant property and lives within the area, making an effort to turn the thermostat up invites the buyers to stay longer and see the positives of the home instead of wanting to quickly move on because it is so cold inside!

Feb 06, 2015 09:19 PM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Good advice here for buyers and sellers.  Let's hope this next snow is small and that soon this will start to melt away.  I'm ready for spring.

Feb 06, 2015 09:23 PM #4
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Jennifer Fivelsdal it's been a very difficult winter....and I thought we were going to miss every bullet.... we had not snow and with that first blizzard came a storm every other day.... another 2' coming.... there's no place to put our snow now!!!

Feb 06, 2015 09:46 PM #5
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Laura I agree, yet there is more to come :)

Sharon thank you.   I have to keep reminding myself it is winter and the weather can be unpredictable.

Bruce that is an excellent point.  Just thinking about a vacant house with the heat down gives chills.

Feb 07, 2015 12:04 AM #6
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Debbie me too.  Spring can't get here soon enough.  I am hoping too the next storms will be brief with little or no snow accumulation.

Hi Barbara I think your area has been dumped on even more than on my end.  Here is hoping this will be a distant memory soon.

Feb 07, 2015 12:08 AM #7
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer sellers are really putting themselves at risk of a law suit when they fail to shave driveways and walkways.  If some one viewing the home happens to slip and fall the homeowner could be in for a very bad experience.

Feb 07, 2015 09:15 AM #8
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

This is great advice for both buyers and sellers and their agent. I have had to face these challenges in the past, but this year has been very mild. We didn't even get the rain that was foreclast for us a few days ago. 

Feb 07, 2015 11:29 AM #9
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

George so true, it is not worth the risk.

Debbie so glad you are experiencing a milder winter.


Feb 07, 2015 06:34 PM #10
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Great advice Jennifer!   I had three out of six houses for a client last weekend wit driveways uncleared!      They then plowed the next day and wanted us to come back.    My clients had moved on.   

Feb 07, 2015 09:38 PM #11
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Excellent tips Jennifer. It sure adds a little more preparation in the rough winter we have been having.

Feb 07, 2015 11:32 PM #12
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jennifer Fivelsdal 

This is such a great list. I remember the many challenges of dealing with showings durin gthe heavy snow in New England. The worst were vacant homes sine they often did not get shoveled and were cold - clearly the listing  agents and the sellers were not concerned about making showings easier.

And parking in the city was always horrendous because of snowdrifts and piles of snow from plows in narrow roadways, and cars buried under piles of snow. Nope don't miss that at all


Feb 07, 2015 11:48 PM #13
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Jennifer, I've never worked in the snow but I'm sure one gets use to it. Our Texas winters are so mild, but wow you guys really get the snow.

Feb 08, 2015 06:43 AM #14
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Jennifer, great tips on winter real estate challenges. Now I have this visual image of you walking through the snow and suddenly disappearing.

Feb 08, 2015 07:24 AM #15
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Jennifer, I just saw where New York is going to get another winter storm through Tuesday with another possible two feet of snow in the central and western parts of the state.  Wow-you sure have had the winter weather this year!

Feb 08, 2015 10:26 AM #16
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jennifer loved your list and it bought back memories when I used to sell homes in Boston,MA. Had to shovel out the car, now keep in mind we did not have a when I got back from a showing someone else took the parking spot and had to dig out another not miss those days:), Endre

Feb 08, 2015 02:46 PM #17
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Hi Jennifer, We don't encounter much of that here in Tennessee but when we do get a 3 inch or above snow it is crippling becaseu we don't kow how to handle it.

Feb 08, 2015 10:20 PM #18
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Jennifer. You would certainly have to have some serious buyers to be out and about in winter weather like this. Plus, it takes a dedicated professional like yourself to get out there with them to show those homes too.

Feb 18, 2015 09:06 PM #19
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