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Posted by Keith Pushor on 21 January 2022

WVSS…Winter Vacant Seller Service. This is a term Brandi and I came up with in 2021, born out of a request from one of our senior sellers during last winter. It turns out that we hit the nail on the head on providing a value added service for many of our clients.

So in the situation noted above, a senior client of ours, who was finally leaving her home of 40 plus years to go into a lodge, was VERY concerned with the snow removal and general checking in on her now-vacant property. Her adult children were all very much supportive, but also lived out of province. I was asked: “do you have anyone who can shovel the walk for mom?”. In this case there was a long concrete driveway too that really was a notable feature of the listing (ample off-street parking). After digging (no pun intended) around a bit for a snow removal service to no avail, it dawned on me that it might be possible to set up a relationship with a service provider ahead of season instead of scrambling on a per-house basis. We then could include this in our listing and marketing service for our clients who have vacant properties to sell. All at no extra charge.

It’s all about providing the seller with piece of mind that their property is not only kept saleable through the winter months, but additionally that the asset’s value will be protected. Our WVSS service not only includes basic snow removal, but also entails weekly check-ins on the property (gathering of junk mail, ensuring the home is secured, power is on , watching for water leaks, etc.) The benefits to our sellers are multiple:

A) The home is more inviting for agents and their buyer clients to view, therefore making it more saleable. The name of the game!

B) Small problems can potentially be detected before they become major catastrophes.

C) It looks like someone is in, or checking, the home regularly therefore making it less of a target for thieves/vagrants.

D) Any insurance claims and controversies are potentially minimized in the event of a mishap.

E) Ultimately saving the seller money.

A real life example involved an empty condominium unit we were hired to sell. Now you might think that a condo would be the least likely type of property to benefit from our WVSS. But the unit was a ground floor unit, and as such had the plumbing drain line tied into to every unit above it. In this case it was a 3 story building. Upon one of our usual WVSS check ups we noticed that the kitchen sink was full to the brim with dirty, backed up water. What had happened was that there was a blockage down the line somewhere, and all of the occupied units above this one were draining their kitchen sinks, as they normally would, effectively into this unit’s sink! We quickly called a drain line service and they cleaned out/unplugged the blockage immediately and all was good. Had we not been so diligent however, the sink in our vacant listing would have surely overflowed for quite sometime and would’ve created a huge, and very expensive mess for our client.

So the message here is that if you list your empty, residential property with us in the winter months you too can take advantage of our WVSS program. At the end of the day we are all about making our listings as saleable as possible, and providing our seller clients with value-added, top notch service. Because selling a home in the winter shouldn’t be “an Adventure in Real Estate”.

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