The Business of Real Estate Continues Despite Record Setting Cold Weather
LISLE, ILLINOIS (January 28, 2014) – Everyone at Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), marvels at how real estate transactions continue to be conducted, even under the worst weather conditions. As the Midwest continues to struggle through a new wave of numbing cold and whiteout snowstorms, we looked back to earlier this month where under similar conditions MRED customers reported doing “business as usual” under the most difficult circumstances during 2014’s first (yes, first) polar vortex.
Was any real estate business really conducted on January 6th and 7th? The answer is emphatically yes! MRED customers added 1,125 listings and closed 420 transactions during those two days.
Many brokers, like Sherri Southall, Prestige Partners Realty in Calumet City, told us how surprisingly busy they were. While planning to just stay warm and dry at home, and use that down time to call for-sale-by-owners and expired listing sellers, to her amazement Sherri did the complete opposite. Her phone was ringing off the hook from buyers and sellers who wanted to buy or list properties in the crazy freezing cold weather. She jumped at the opportunity and called her partner to pick her up in his truck. At every house they visited the driveways and walkways were knee-high in snow. She brought along her snow shovel to plow their way through to each doorway. During the “polar vortex”, Sherri managed to take two listings, won a HUD bid, and wrote 3 offers. One must wonder how the last couple of days have gone for her.
At least one of MRED’s customers is a hero. Santiago Moreno, Prudential Rubloff in Evanston, conducted a final walk-through prior to closing on one of his listings. Water wasn’t running in the unit, and it became clear the pipes had frozen. Santiago immediately shut off the water, and the walk-through and closing had to be delayed for a few days while things defrosted. Once they returned to the unit and tested the water flow, they found cracks in a number of the pipes. When the plumber arrived to fix the pipes he asked, “Who was the genius smart enough to shut off the water?” Santiago was, if not the genius, certainly a hero. He saved the unit from serious damage, and saved the sale as well.
Real estate brokers are a multi-talented bunch. Patrick Skach, Skach Real Estate in Westchester, is also a climate research contributor with the College of DuPage meteorology department, as well as a cooperative weather observer with the National Weather Service’s Chicago office. Patrick reported that the 12:00 noon temperature (-11 F) January 6th was the coldest noon temperature in twenty years, and one of the ten coldest days in recorded Chicagoland history.
With the cold, also came the snow. The foot of snow at O’Hare was the largest snowfall since the 2011 Groundhog’s Day blizzard. The 8.7 inches on January 5th set a new calendar day record snowfall for Chicago, breaking the old record of 6.2″ set in 2005.
Sometimes you do the right thing and you get rewarded. Scott Siegel, Jennings Realty in Evanston, had a story that didn’t start too well but ended up as a winner. On January 7th he had a morning appointment in West Garfield Park to show a two-flat. After fifteen long minutes of waiting, the client failed to show – but here’s the reward. As luck would have it, a neighbor from three doors down who had had her eye on the place, approached and asked if it was for sale, and if so could she see it. Figuring that he needed to make Italian ice from frozen lemons, he gave her a tour. She loved it, was quickly pre-approved by his mortgage referral partner and they now have an offer in play. The best part may have been Scott trying to write down her contact information with a pen whose ink was too cold and thick to flow.
Alexis Eldorrado, Eldorrado Chicago Real Estate, had a different set of challenges. On the morning of January 6th, she had a mandatory U.S. Bankruptcy Court ordered closing downtown. The good news was driving to the closing was no problem, nor was street parking, as downtown was nearly deserted. Besides a few minor title issues the seller had to clean up, more troublesome was the buyer having an expired driver’s license. The title company’s would not accept it and could not close without a valid picture ID. The Buyer ran across the street to the Secretary of State office to get her license renewed only to find the office closed due to the weather! When she returned, the closer very graciously completed the transaction without the ID, assuming she would return the next morning with her renewed driver’s license. All’s well that ends well – the deal was done!
Lee Garafolo-Malizia, McColly Real Estate in Schererville, had just arrived from Florida the night of January 3rd. On the 4th she had the “pleasure” of showing five vacant homes, none of which had been plowed nor heated. In one house it was raining in the basement and had a wide open front door. Another had all the pipes, bathroom fixtures, furnace, and hot water heater removed. While struggling to show all these properties, the elastic had stretched on Lee’s skirt. Getting out of the car for the last showing, she and her clients were shocked when her skirt fell down around her ankles. Adding insult to injury, Lee’s embarrassment doubled because her clients were clergy. They were so impressed with how well she handled this, just like she had handled very difficult showings all day long, that they are still happy clients.
“What can you say that adequately describes the dedication and professionalism of our customers?” said MRED President and Chief Executive Officer, Russ Bergeron. “These are but a few examples of what Realtors® do on a daily basis. It is always inspirational to be reminded of how hard Realtors® work on behalf of their clients. They continue to be an integral part of the real estate market and the economy, and MRED will continue to serve them – no matter how cold it gets.”
Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.