There is No Place for Ice Cold Attitudes When Selling Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

There is No Place for Ice Cold Attitudes When Selling Your Home

Just when you think you know how your day is going to unfold, the Bristow area real estate market throws you a curve ball.  Showing homes during our most recent snow storm yesterday afternoon, I was thankful that temps were at least reaching twenty.  I knew I would need my boots and that my hair was going to get wet, as well as the bottom of my pants.  Making sure I had plenty of time to navigate the snowy roads, I made it to my showings on time. 

What I did not anticipate was the ice cold attitudes of the occupants of the homes my Buyer and I viewed.  The first home was a tenant occupied residence.  She met us at the door and let us know the showing had put her out.  "You sure picked a bad day to be out and looking at homes."  I diffused the situation as I do most, with humor.  A quick smile and quip, "Not a bad day if you want to get the jump on all the buyers that are staying in today."

Then I met her husband.  Apparently, in the white out of the roads, I had blocked the driveway and her husband was sitting in his car outside waiting to pull in.  The wife waits to tell me this until we are walking out.  I would have moved the car as soon as he arrived if she had told me.  So on the way out I smiled and apologized.  Honestly, I think the man growled at me.  

No worse for the wear, we went to our second home...which despite being a short notice showing, had been confirmed by the Listing Agent. It was obvious the Sellers were home as evidenced by their car in the driveway and the sound of the TV from the family room as we entered the home.  A little dog was barking incessantly and very loudly.  They had to know we were there, but in my loudest voice I announced ourselves at least five times.  By the time I made it to the family room, I was being met with an angry older woman who reminded me of Danny Devito's mom in Throw Mama From the Train.  "I'm not dressed.  Why are you here?"

Naturally, I explained that we had scheduled the showing through her Listing Agent and that he had confirmed.  Evidently, he had forgotten to tell her he had confirmed a showing on her home.  We asked if we could go upstairs and get a look and she said, "No.  My husband is up there.  It would be best if you leave.  Why are you showing property in a blizzard anyway?"  Again, not the most friendly delivery.

Lovely.  This was a house that my Buyer thought was the ideal fit for him and we were being asked to leave.

I know that as a Seller you may consider the appearance of a snow storm as a day off from showings.  All I can do is encourage you NOT to think that way.  Serious buyers, which are the ones you want, look in all kinds of weather.  Go with the flow.  It is highly unlikely anyone is going to expect you to leave your home in inclement weather.  Just stay out of the way during showings.  Don't be over bearing.   But above all, be NICE.  The Buyers are the ones trekking all over the snow to see YOUR home.  


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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

That's terrible treatment of you and your buyers. Some people are so discourteous and rude. Thank goodness they weren't the actual sellers.

Feb 22, 2015 10:41 AM #1
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I would have had to think twice about going out in a blizzard.  Hope the buyer bought something!

Feb 23, 2015 01:09 AM #2
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Chris Ann - oh boy this happens even WITHOUT the snow - but GOOD FOR YOU getting out there. We don't have the snow here - but still have the same reactions with rain, wind, and yes, the heat - owners want to have us basically strip down so no drops on tile ('you'll slip), wood (you'll stain), carpet (you'll dirty) and when it's hot I've had owners basically nearly slam us in the door to 'keep the cool in'. All in the lovely life of buyers' agency :-)

Feb 23, 2015 01:19 AM #3
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Hard to believe a home seller would behave that way.  If I were the seller, I'd be so excited about having a showing in the snow, I'd probably leave some hot chocolate out!

Feb 23, 2015 02:11 AM #4
Susan Crush-Russell

I see no reason to risk injury to yourself, your buyers or sellers who may leave the home for the showing, to show homes during a blizzard unless the buyer absolutely has no choice and plans to buy that day. Here in NH, State Police strongly recommend that only emergency personnel be on the roads during snow storms.

I don't understand why sellers would be so rude. Crazy!

Feb 23, 2015 02:36 AM #5
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Chris Ann Cleland:  What a day you and your buyers had!  Congratulations for keeping your positive attitude and a smile on your face.

Feb 23, 2015 02:43 AM #6
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  But they had an actual home that my buyers actually want.  (sigh)

Jeanne:  The word blizzard was the seller's description of the storm.  It was not at all a blizzard.

Susan:  It's true.  Sellers like these are going to be difficult no matter the weather.

Feb 23, 2015 03:03 AM #7
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Melissa:  That's because you understand buyers are gold.

Sarah:  I assure you, it wasn't a blizzard, but a snow storm.  I think we got four or five inches of snow.

Marilyn:  I try to stay as positive as possible.

Feb 23, 2015 03:04 AM #8
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

You must enjoy being adventuress. There are circumstances that should postpone any opportunity, especially if the perils could be extremely dangerous if not to you, them perhaps those who are with you. I'm curious if you sold a house that particular day to your clients?  

Feb 23, 2015 03:22 AM #9
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

You're a hard working young lady destined for even greater success.  (No, that wasn't in a fortune cookie.)   I've never shown a home in the snow.

Feb 23, 2015 03:28 AM #10
Karen T Brown
HomeBased Realty - Lancaster, CA

Wow, as much as I'm not a fan of rain, when I was the buyer, I liked being able to see a house in the rain or snow.  If the house is leaking I'll know.  On point, serious buyers will see a house in all kinds of weather and times.  The holidays never stopped me and I too thought the same, I'll get a jump on someone else who would rather wait.  

Feb 23, 2015 03:34 AM #11
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Kimo:  I probably could have sold the one we were tossed out of. They really seemed to have high hopes for it.

Lloyd:  Snow storms are generally not terrible here, but do tend to keep folks inside.  Gives buyers the leg up on the competing buyers.

Karen:  If a buyer is motivated, nothing in the way of snow storms or rainfalls is going to stop them.  True blizzards, yes.

Feb 23, 2015 04:21 AM #12
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

As my son would say: "It's winter. It shouldn't come as a shock that it snows in winter."

I understand having tenants misbehave - after all, they don't want the house sold. But owners - that's completely stupid. Of course, it was also pretty stupid of their agent not to let them know that you were going to be there. 

Are you going to try to back again? 

Feb 23, 2015 06:06 AM #13
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I always tell people that serious buyers are the ones who look in bad weather.  Now I'm not going out in a tornado or lightening storm, but I get your point.  Sometimes these buyers have only a small window to find their new home.

Feb 23, 2015 06:20 AM #14
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you Chris Ann.  It's very frustrating showing homes in bad weather and we/you have to have a good attitude for the entire process, let alone being greeted by negative tenants and sellers.  

And I agree with Tammy, we can't always pick our best times to show if clients aren't available!

Feb 23, 2015 09:22 AM #15
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've shown homes in bad weather before, esp to out of towners.  They are serious buyers if we all go out in bad weather!

Feb 23, 2015 10:22 AM #16
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

WOW! What a nightmare of a day for you and the buyers too! I don't think tenants or sellers understand how hard it is to get a buyer and an agent outdoors on a bad day and they don't get it that only serious buyers would do such a thing and only a dedicated, loyal, and great realtor would show and follow all the procedures. It's puts you in a bad spot.

Feb 23, 2015 11:57 PM #17
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Marte:  My buyers have decided to move on.  They have had a preview of the selller's attitude and didn't like it.

Tammy: hurricane showings.  But snow?  Get on the boots and let's go.

Jan:  We have to do what we can for our clients, but remain safe in the process.


Feb 24, 2015 11:57 AM #18
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Mary:  It's part of the job.

Patricia:  Bad spots are what we are used to, right?

Feb 24, 2015 11:58 AM #19
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Chris Ann, As a listing agent, this year has been a bit of a challenge. Making my own appointments allows me to check on the driveway conditions at the last minute.  Some houses cannot be shown until the plow arrives. Some cannot be shown because of the black ice on a steep driveway,  A buyer looking in these weather  serious. I admire and welcome buyer agents in all weather conditions. My job is to make it as easy as possible for you. Informing the seller and making a clear path is my job.

Feb 27, 2015 08:49 PM #20
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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