No not that that kind of "I Do"! But as a listing agent I do make my own appointments!
Every once in a while, when I'm talking with another real estate agent, the subject of appointments comes up. When I say that I always - yes, always - make my own appointments, I can almost predict what will happen. The eyes widen, the brow furrows, there's a quick intake of breath, and then, "You're kidding!"
No, I'm not. "But doesn't it waste your time?" they ask.
Showing the wrong house to the wrong buyer, that wastes my time. Making my own appointments saves time and aggravation for me and my sellers. How can this one task make a big difference? (And it also saves time on follow up.)
Here are just a few of the issues that I can and do clear up while making appointments on my listings. And yes, I've actually had all of these and more:
- The condo restricts pets; they have a dog and a cat. No, you can't sneak them in.
- The prospective buyer is 93 years old, and the unit I have listed is on the top floor. There are no elevators.
- A condo with no balcony - not a good match for someone with claustrophobia.
- A penthouse unit - a bad idea for someone afraid of heights.
- The buyer is a wheel chair user. Would you at least remind them, it's split-level house?
The family wants all bedrooms on the same level. Are you sure you want to show this Cape Cod?
- The buyers haven't put their home on the market yet because they want to wait until they find something they like. What's the chance I could be showing them a house they can't afford because the seller will not take a contingency.
- My listing is a co-op. The by-laws require the unit must be purchased for cash - there can be no mortgage. If we haven't discussed this first, it would be no surprise when the buyer asks if the monthly fee "includes the mortgage payment."
- My client's condo has high monthly fees. The prospective buyer didn't ask before seeing the property (and his agent didn't tell, obviously). Then he asks if we can negotiate the fees down along with the price. Um...sure, right along with the property taxes.
And then there are the "must or must not haves":
The fireplace must be wood burning. The fireplace must be gas. We only want a pellet stove. We don't want a fireplace - it's not safe.
- Must have a swimming pool. Absolutely no swimming pool!
- The house must be on a main road with sidewalks and nearby neighbors. No, the house must be secluded, away from prying neighbors. No cul de sacs. No shared driveways.
- The townhouse kitchen has to be at the front so I don't have to schlep groceries through the house. Who wants a kitchen at the front? We need a kitchen in the back so we can walk out on the deck.
- Must have gas heat, must have oil heat, must have a heat pump.
And on and on. You get the idea. There are so many ways that well-meaning sellers, agents and prospective buyers can waste their time and energy. Over the years I've learned that the one best way to eliminate these issues is to make my own appointments and ask the questions up front. That way I can assure sellers that more qualified buyers will be visiting their home.
Good buyer's agents appreciate my telling them about the pros and cons of the properties and frequently when they share their buyer's need; I may have another coming on the market. Or how about we run an "ad" for your buyer on http://www.buyers4yourhome.com/ ?
So yes, I do!