Dear Listing Agent: Yes, I’m Serious. Are You?
“Is your buyer serious?” was the question I got from a listing agent this weekend when I called to schedule a showing in St. Charles IL. After waiting six hours for a return call, it was all I could do not to snap back “Nope, we’re not the least bit serious. I’m wasting my time and I want to waste yours, too.”
I know that sellers get weary of the cycle of cleaning-showing-disappointment, especially if their house has been on market a while. Many sellers who were on the market over the winter are hoping that the new crop of Spring shoppers will bring out that perfect buyer. But some of these sellers — and their agents — are letting their cynicism and skepticism get in the way of selling a house in St. Charles.
Each buyer who enters the market is looking at the inventory with fresh eyes. The listing agent has a responsibility to be as excited today about the house as he was the day he entered the listing. The house has to shine on the internet and at the showings. If the house has fall photos, they should be updated with spring shots. A new front photo and new interior shots with re-arranged rooms might even attract a buyer who has been lurking for months. The house should be easy to show and as perfect looking as it was the day of the first broker tour.
More thoughts for listing agents:
- Check your remarks in the mls. ”$10,000 credit for a contract by December 1″ is just sloppy and shows you’re not paying attention.
- If I call to schedule a showing, I am serious. Do not grill me, if I’m showing houses it’s because I have a serious and qualified buyer. That’s all I have to reveal so don’t ask me more.
- If the schedule changes it’s the listing agent’s job to communicate it to the seller. Little kids throw up in the car, flights are late, people cut out whole subdivisions at the last minute…the list is endless. I’ll call, text or email the second I know the schedule is shifting. It is not my fault if you use an on-line showing application that doesn’t update you or you’ve turned your phone off for the day.
- Buyers and their agents need info in a way they can use it. Written is best…leaving a long voice mail about all the upgrades in the house is a waste of time and insulting. If you have something important to say, it’s important enough to write down. Which brings me to….
- Brochures are really important. There are usually lots of interesting details that might make a house stand out. I like seeing a map of the subdivision, a list of community events, park district and school information. Many agents are now offering an e-brochure to be sent before the showing, a great alternative to long paper brochures.
- My feedback is brief but accurate. Don’t call me and ask me to make a particular suggestion in the feedback to the seller on price or improvements. That’s the listing agent’s job.
So let’s all enter the Spring market with a fresh attitude to match the fresh breezes. We owe it to our clients.