This is our first installment of a new series we are tentatively considering entitling “We live in Maine, It Snows. People still buy homes. Deal with it!”
OK, admittedly, we need to work on the title.
This all came about with the latest press release from Maine Listings, our statewide MLS. The latest stats they released showed a 12% decrease in units sold statewide this February from last February. We were simply floored when the explanation given in the press release quoted an official source stating that the decline was due to 10 straight days of record breaking snow and a leap year last year. Wow! Seriously?
First of all, we question the record breaking part, and secondly, just...wow! See the full press release here: CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE FULL PRESS RELEASE
We ALMOST did not know how to respond to something so ridiculous. After all, we live in Maine. It snows here. Every winter. However, people still buy and sell homes...every winter. Then we realized the only response we could give would be to show our experiences and what our agents do that apparently others do not do.
We found the press release statement particularly stunning and ironic because so many of our agents had been posting their incredible photos of “Showing homes in the Maine snow” during the month of February and we knew we had a year over year increase in the volume of closings during that month. A quick request to our awesome accounting department and one super fast reply later and we had our stats in hand.
While the real estate market in the state of Maine saw a significant decrease in the number of units sold this February when compared to last February, and even understanding the volume of snow and the one less day this February,
our agents achieved a 27% INCREASE in closed sales
during February 2017 vs. February 2016.
Our REALTORS® are just that awesome! We are a Maine born company, completely Maine owned and fiercely independent. I guess we tend to attract agents who also fit that description. They understand that we live in a snowy northern climate. They have all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive and know how to use it and navigate our winter roads safely. They do not shy away from providing their clients with safe passage to the homes they wish to view, even if that involves picking them up or bringing a snowmobile along, snowshoes, and even skis (yes, these things really happened). They keep shovels in their cars for the times (and there are more than you would think) when the seller did not clear a path to the home or to shovel out in order to get to the lockbox to get the key.
They don’t make or accept excuses.
Basically, they START where others STOP.
One of many examples:
Our agent, Andy Carver, was told by a listing agent that the property his client wanted to see could not be shown because the long dirt road to the property had not been plowed. Instead of accepting that excuse, our agent arranged the showing and then loaded his snowmobile into his truck and proceeded. I do wish I had a photo or video of the snowmobile ride to the property. True to form, it was considered a normal part of doing business here in Maine by our Mainer agent. He didn’t think about taking a photo as he was simply providing a needed service for his clients.
And we have too many examples to list them all here, but here are a few more...
Photo #1 Above: Cari Turnbull and buyer client Andy Boure taking turns shoveling the path to the home.
Photo #2 Above: Glenn Garry with his 4 Wheel Drive making his way safely to a property for his clients.
Photo #3 Above: Joe Tomazin clearing a path to a home his buyer wanted to see...and they closed on this home today.
Photo #4 Above: Katie Yarrison enlists the help of her husband Bret to shovel out a path to a home and provide 4WD service to a home during a snowstorm. A team effort!
Our agent, Jeff Clark, trudging through the knee deep snow (and Jeff is really tall) to install a sign rider on his sign for his seller.
Derek Goff noticed this sign from a competitor while showing property. Note: We dig our signs out so that they are ALWAYS visible.
Donna Pinkham made sure the way was open to this beauty...which did go under contract and she closed for her sellers in February.
Marie Sullivan navigating incredibly high snow banks to get around in Bath to show property to her clients. It can be seriously difficult to see around these things unless you are in a nice tall truck or SUV.
Sorry Joe, we are going to have to go with April. You just can't beat that sense of style!