Is the buyer's agent who works "out of area" really out of his mind?. What about an agent working "out of her comfort zone"? Most buyers first pick an area and than pick a house while relying on their buyer's agent to help them learn about their different choices. What role does the listing agent play in a showing with an "out of area" agent?
Of course I agree with J. Philip Faranda that a listing agent shouldn't interfere with the buyer agent's relationship with his client. But what if the buyer's agent is, well, lost in our area?
I have listings in Wayne and on the east side of St. Charles where certain areas have been preserved as a semi-rural environment. Compared to a regular subdivision house at the same price just a couple of miles away, there is an inevitable trade-off between property size and the amenities of the house. Pricing and values are quite different from subdivisions, and substantially different compared to condos and townhouses in the city of Chicago.
Some of our listings must be "agent accompanied' because of dogs, horses, swans, water features or security concerns.
And then there are some showings I want to accompany, because I worry about whether the buyer's agent will be sufficiently knowledgeable to evaluate the property.
Why? Because of showings like one a couple of weeks ago at a lovely property on Curling Pond Road that generated these questions from the buyer's agent and her client.
Them: My goodness, are we out where Jesus lost his sandals?
Me: No, it just seems that way because your city agent (in her rental car) took you on a detour through Iowa.
Them: Isn't this really far out from the city?
Me: I don't know, how far is 40 miles to you?
Them: So what are the problems with well and septic?
Me: Water comes out of the ground and the poop goes in...no problems.
Them: Are the schools here any good?
Me: No, I moved here to ruin my children's lives.
Them: Is there anywhere decent to eat out here?
Me: No, but we all gather for the noon meal during the daily barn-raisings. Like in the movie Witness.
Them: Is there anywhere to shop out here?
Me: No shopping, but we get everything we need from the Sear's Catalog.
Them: This property looks huge and there's a lot of unused space. Can we sell part of it off?
Me: This property can't be subdivided, this area is zoned for minimum four acre parcels
Me: I don't know, maybe because horses can't live on a 10' x 15' patio.
Them: Is living near horses smelly? Are there lots of bugs?
Me: Of course not, I know the neighbors bathe and deodorize their horses every day.
Of course I wasn't this snippy, but I certainly wanted to be. Starting with the agent's 9:00 am request for a same day showing, I ended up clearing an entire day for these folks and their changing schedule. They were lost many times. They couldn't find anywhere they liked for lunch. The buyer was clearly aggravated and I didn't sense a deep relationship with the agent....in fact, they appeared not to be speaking to one another. By the time they got to me they were in no mood to enjoy my beautiful listing. Mr. Buyer said he wanted a peaceful, relaxing retreat from the stresses of the world, but Mrs. Buyer may never travel outside the Loop again.
Agents who don't know a property type or community should educate themselves, refer out the client, or be honest with me ahead of time. If I know what the agent wants me to cover (or not) I can he helpful to the agent and do a good job for my seller.
If you are thinking of buying a property in the western suburbs of Chicago including St. Charles, Geneva, Batvia, Wayne and Elburn please contact me and we'll schedule hassle free showings. I promise to be knowlegeable about our area, the amenities, the schools, the shopping and the recreational actvities. And I know many great places for lunch!
This post was written by Leslie Ebersole of Baird & Warner Real Estate.
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