By Anessa V. Cohen

As we all do when Elul slips into to Tishrei, I think of all the possible ways improvements can be made in what we do for the coming year. Some of those things are of course personal and some of those things are thoughts for how to enhance the real-estate experience for buyers as well as sellers.

For sellers, showing their homes can be a very difficult time–disruptive by the very nature of people coming at all times to walk through their homes, sometimes making comments, sometimes challenging the privacy they have sought to hold dear through their years of living there.

For buyers, looking for homes is a different challenge. Young couples with families find themselves juggling times between work, school, and babies’ naptimes to run and see yet another possible home choice that may bring them closer to the home of their dreams.

Each year I try to think of new ways to streamline this process for both buyers and sellers in an attempt to make it a little less burdensome and more courteous to everyone involved. I find that people get so caught up in trying to make this all work that they sometimes overlook basic courtesies.

Here are some suggestions to ponder for the New Year as you enter or continue the real-estate sales process, no matter which side you are on. All of these suggestions are gentle reminders, since we all know how stressful the process is.

– Arriving straight from Dunkin’ Donuts with coffee cups in hand, ready to view a house, is not the best idea around. You would not want anyone walking through your own home with drinks (even with lids). It only takes one misstep for the liquid to fly onto a carpet or piece of furniture and for disaster to happen. Either leave your drinks in the car or place them on the kitchen table when you enter and then take them with you as you leave.

– We all know how difficult it is when you must bring little children with you to view a house when a babysitter is not available. Little ones have their own agendas, and home shopping is not one of them. Although we all love them, giving them open snacks or snack bags to keep them quiet and carry around the house is a no-no. The only one left to clean up the crumbs will be an angry homeowner!

– Sellers, when prospective buyers arrive to see your home, please don’t meet them in the hall, ask them personal questions, and invite them to sit and chat in the living room. As hospitable as this is, it does not allow them to focus on viewing your home, and it may also take away from the time schedule they have allotted themselves for looking at the house properly as opposed to not remembering what the house looked like and only remembering how hospitable you were.

– Inviting a prospective buyer to come in and sit with you and your large-screen TV to watch the game is certainly a nice thing to do, but when the prospective buyer then chooses to sit until halftime, when do you plan for him to see your house?

– We all love photographs, but try to avoid going through the photos on the pianos or sideboards at each house you view to see if you know someone. Even if you find someone you know, you will have wasted valuable time that you really needed to view and inspect the house to see if it suits your needs.

Most people are totally unaware that they are doing these things because we really have such lovely and considerate people living here and newly arriving here. I mention it just as a New Year’s reminder.

Shanah tovah to everyone

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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