Don't Be A Not Ready For Prime Time Listing

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

When your home is first listed, easy access is very, very important.

Realtors and their clients have to be able to get in the door to see the place!  If we can't see it, we can't sell it.  

Here's how it typically works:

I have some buyers for a particular part of Northern Virginia looking for a town house.  It has to be nice and it has to be near Metro.  And there are a bunch on the market we've already seen - and some have been on the market for a while now.  But the good ones go quickly.  So yesterday when a new listing came up, I immediately picked up the phone to arrange a quick preview before issuing a Red Hot House Alert to my buyers.

While the information had been fed into MRIS, the agent hadn't put the lockbox on the door yet.  He didn't have the keys.  And he had showing instructions that said basically leave a message with the seller and head over. 

So I'm wondering how many other buyer agents who, like me, had buyers chomping at the bit, got to the house and scratched their heads looking for a Sentrilock box that wasn't there. My guess is there were a few pretty ticked off agents driving around North Arlington.

Luckily, I called the listing agent before I set off.  He explained the situation and I arranged my preview for later in the afternoon when the seller was home.  And I'm so glad I saw it before I called my buyer out of a meeting to come see his new place.  It was attractive in many ways, but at the same time, a little bit quirky.  I'll tell them about it certainly, but my guess is that it just won't work at all. 

But the point I'm trying to make here is this:  by the time your agent feeds your listing information into your local multiple listing service, it should be ready for prime time!

  • It should have a lockbox with keys that have been tested and will actually open the door.
  • The photo tour should be loaded immediately.
  • For at least the first week, even if you are living there, you should go out of your way to accommodate agents who want to preview or show the place.
  • It should look just wonderful, with great staging inside and out.
  • Any Realtor eating pets should be out of the house.

The group of people most likely to include your buyers will want to get in during the first few days, no, the first few hours the place is on the market.  If your home is a pain to get into or shows poorly, you could miss out on an opportunity to get it sold quickly.  

Easy access to new listings is just crucial.


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dennis Burgess 04/16/2011 03:40 AM
Home Selling
District of Columbia District of Columbia County Washington
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
access to new listings

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Andrea Peters
Cortiers Real Estate - College Station, TX
This is such a great blog. So many sellers never understand just how crucial that time is!
Apr 17, 2011 05:59 AM #29
Ranji Singh
Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd. - Newmarket, ON

Hi Pat  ..... you are correct "Easy access to new listings is just crucial". Although individual circumstances will occur occasionally, easy access ought to be the standard.



Apr 17, 2011 05:59 AM #30
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

You're getting skiddish suddenly mentioning the Realtor eating pets! Nothing like a snarling poodle to annoy the buyers. But you are correct about the listing being ready to go. We fine agents that list it then put in a notice saying you can't show it for a week.  But aside from that you better be ready with a key, etc.  I personally wait unti it's 100%.

Apr 17, 2011 06:10 AM #31
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
I like the realtor-eating pets!! Creating a good first impression is really important with a new listing!
Apr 17, 2011 06:11 AM #32
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I wonder if some agents hurry to get that listing signed before the house is ready in order to prevent the sellers from changing their minds and listing with someone else. I know the rules are different everywhere, but back when I was selling we had only a day or two to put a new listing in MLS or we'd get a fine.

As for Realtor eating pets - I once had a listing with an attack cat - meanest little bugger I ever met, and I had the bloody ankles to prove it!

Apr 17, 2011 06:51 AM #33
Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties - Green Valley, AZ
CRS-Green Valley AZ Expert, Green Valley Arizona R

Thanks for shedding light on a big pet peeve of mine.  How about those agents who list it and then put it as a "hold do not show" because the Seller is still cleaning the place up and so, because the agent can't take any inside shots due to the mess, there is only one outside shot of the house.   So it hits the hot sheet -- a great marketing opportunity to get the word out to your fellow agents--and it is promptly forgotten due to the very poor showing on the MLS.

Apr 17, 2011 07:22 AM #34
Greg Fischer
Fischer Real Estate Services - Fort Worth, TX


This post struck a chord with me! I love it. Why are agents entering properties into the MLS when they are unprepared to start showing it?! Why do they enter listings into MLS without uploading pictures immediately?! Do us all a favor and be ready to present and sell your listings once they hit the MLS. There are times in certain price ranges and areas when the "early bird gets the worm", so if I see a house that meets a particular buyer's criteria that morning in a new listing  - please please let me do my job and get it sold (quickly)! Anyway, luckily, our MLS has tweaked our system so that you can upload pictures ahead of time (before you make the listing "active").

The whole basis for our job and the reason we charge the fees we do is to "package" the sale of a house! This includes making the house viewable by all interested and/or qualified parties. Do it correctly and professionally every time!




Apr 17, 2011 08:01 AM #35
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Let me just say that Realtor eating or Realtor annoying pets should be out of the house at all times.  A good example would be the two snakes I encountered a few months ago.  Each was in a separate room and both in terrarium like containers.  It's true that one of them had a cloth cover around the glass and I might have missed coming eveball to eyeball with a very large snake had my buyer not expressed curiosity about the contents.  Now, I am totally freaked out by snakes but managed to control myself admirably when, truth is, I wanted to fling my papers in the air, turn on my heal and run out the door.  I remained calm and, for my determination to appear normal, was rewarded with the sight of another snake in a similar but uncloaked container in a different room.  I called the agent and asked her what they were thinking and my electronic feedback gave them much to think about.  I accomplished what the listing agent could not and got those snakes out of the home for future showings.  No, my clients didnot buy the home and the snakes played a minor role. We were certainly distracted during our viewing and not eager for a second visit.   

Apr 17, 2011 08:38 AM #36
Debbie White
Reece Nichols - Lee's Summit, MO
Your K C Realtor

Excellent points!  The day it's entered in the MLS the seller needs to be ready!

Apr 17, 2011 09:31 AM #37
RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Nanaimo, BC

Details, timing, and proper choreography when launching a listing are crucial....And yes, easy access, please! Good post!

Apr 17, 2011 11:09 AM #38
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Pat sometimes agents can be overzealous in that they are in such a big hurry to list that they do not care about anything else besides having one more stripe (listing) to their credit. To heck with selling the house, they got the listing right?
Apr 17, 2011 11:59 AM #39
Rhett Laufenburger
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp - Peoria, AZ
Sun City West AZ Mortgages
Way to plan ahead Pat. Seems to me it would be better to have the house ready to go beforeit gets put on the web so the dom are true. Days on market is what a buyer looks at so much when they submit their offers
Apr 17, 2011 04:22 PM #40
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Hi Pat, I couldn't agree more. The house should be ready to go, and the agent should have the listing, sign, measurements, photos, and lockbox in place before it goes live in the MLS. Attention to the details is what makes an agent a professional.

Apr 17, 2011 05:45 PM #41
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Very well said Pat!!! 

Apr 17, 2011 07:15 PM #42
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Pat - I have seen that in our area as well, agents put the listing into the MLS and when you call about getting in they tell you that they haven't had time to get the lockbox on the door.....then don't list it!

Apr 18, 2011 01:44 AM #43
Gerard Falzon
- Gianni Property Group - Cary, NC - Cary, NC
Rental Property Expert, Investment Property Expert

Hi Pat - Great point about the first few hours / days!

"The group of people most likely to include your buyers will want to get in during the first few days, no, the first few hours the place is on the market.  If your home is a pain to get into or shows poorly, you could miss out on an opportunity to get it sold quickly."


Apr 18, 2011 05:04 AM #44
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

Patricia - Hope this post is read in droves!!  If you have a seller that wants to put their toe in the water it is going to be a looooooooong swim.

Apr 18, 2011 04:42 PM #45
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I recently went to a listing where the key did not work.  The agent had not tested the copy he made.  Sometimes they do not cut right.

Apr 19, 2011 06:44 AM #46
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Pat ~ those first few days on the market crucial; staging, photos, availability, etc.

Apr 21, 2011 11:38 AM #47
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

This is a great post. Good advice for home sellers and new agents, too. I like the idea of a Prime Time Listing, I also like the idea of your RED HOT House Alert for buyers. Great way to set the stage for a very important home.

Apr 21, 2011 05:18 PM #48
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