Allen Norwood

Snow won’t stop showings

Cancel a home showing because of a sprinkling of snow? Never!

Well, hardly ever, said Harvey Corzin, who’s with Coldwell Banker United’s Arboretum office. If roads and sidewalks are icy, then agents, buyers and sellers shouldn’t take foolish risks. But for a the light dusting of snow the Charlotte area received early this week? No.

“The roads and sidewalks are OK today,” he said as snow fell Tuesday morning. “The sellers want to sell their homes. ... Buyers want to buy. So just take off those shoes.

“My buyers and I, we’re going out. A lot of people might not. So we might have an edge.”

That could be important in the hottest neighborhoods, where competition for available homes is fierce.

Snow, even a light dusting, does change things for buyers and sellers, though. Sellers might want to place a small rug or towel just inside the front door to catch any moisture that’s tracked in. As Corzin suggested, prospective buyers and their agents should remove their shoes.

Some widely accepted showing etiquette can be relaxed. For instance, he said, sellers don’t have to get out of the house during the showing. If he’s representing buyers, and there’s a question about whether to proceed with a showing, he calls the listing agent. “I tell them to show the house. The sellers can stay at home. I don’t have a problem with that.”

What if the kids are at home because snow closed schools? “That’s OK with me.” Pets can stay, too.

Unoccupied homes present different problems. The house needs to be a comfortable temperature. That means leaving the thermostat at a reasonable setting – or turning it up well before the showing.

If a listed home is too cold, Corzin said, some prospective buyers won’t even look through it. “They’ll say, ‘Let’s hurry up ... It’s too cold. I’m done.’”

The lack of available homes for sale has put even more pressure on agents and brokers to complete showings despite the weather, Corzin said.

Broadly, a market is considered balanced when there’s a six-month supply of homes for sale. In January, according to Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Mecklenburg County had a 2.6-month supply.

“I’ve got probably nine or 10 buyers right now who can’t find anything,” Corzin said. “If anything new comes on the market, we’re going to go look at it. We’ll find a way to make it.”

Special to the Observer:

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