Realtors and their clients tend to brave the weather unless there’s a serious storm
While it’s been about five years since the last time South Florida saw a real hurricane, Hurricane Wilma, a heretofore-calm season looks to be heating up, with the latest tropical storm forming in the Atlantic southwest of Cape Verde.
While the prospect of a hurricane is a bit terrifying, unless a true hurricane arrives, in a still-rebuilding South Florida market it means business as usual for brokers.
“It doesn’t change anything,” said realtor Lana Belenky of Sunny Isles Miami Real Estate. “People are still buying and selling.”
Hurricane season started June 1, and if the weather gets to the level of a heavy tropical storm or hurricane, though, showing homes grinds to a halt, she said.
In Palm Beach, where many buyers are looking for second and third homes and are only in town for a few days, they’re usually forced to look, rain or shine.
“If the weather’s bad, the weather’s bad,” said Jonathan Duerr, an associate with Fite Shavell in Palm Beach. “They’re here for a purpose and there’s nothing you can do but move forward and showcase the property. Hurricane season frightens people, but the last couple of years have been pretty good.”
Laura Mullaney, a realtor associate with Coldwell Banker in Coral Gables, said the storms sometimes call for desperate measures for realtors.
“I remember having to put up the [storm] shutters myself,” she said. “The owners were in Europe and there was no one else to do it!”
If the weather rises to a serious level, homes won’t be shown, even a week before a potential hurricane strikes, said Daniel de la Vega of ONE Sotheby’s Realty.
“Typically, if a hurricane does come, they’re not shown,” he said. “This is beginning the week before and, depending on the damage, it could be a week or even two to three months [before they’re shown],” he said.
As long as it’s safe to walk around and drive, though, rainy weather can sometimes be an advantage.
“A lot of times it allows you to feature the home and the strength of the construction,” Fite Shavell’s Duerr said. “You can actually play the weather to your advantage when showing properties — if it’s an all concrete home, or if it’s up-to-date for hurricanes. That sort of thing allows you to really use it in a true life example.”
But there’s nothing like sunny South Florida weather to make a home look most attractive.
“It’s always better to show properties on a nice day,” ONE Sotheby’s Realty’s de la Vega said.