How Important is Feedback When Listing a Home?

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

How Important is Feedback When Listing a Home?

Like most questions in real estate, the question about how important feedback is when listing a home is this--it depends.  If you looked on any real estate forum on social media in my Bristow-Gainesville-Haymarket area, you would see buyers agents not providing feedback as one of the primary complaints by listing agents.  And even last week, while attending a networking group of eight real estate agents, the session started with the moderator taking a shot at buyer's agents not giving feedback.

Sellers desperately want to know what buyers that were through their home thought.  They trust and
believe that the feedback given by a buyer's agent is somehow valuable.  In rare cases, it may be.  Perhaps you didn't know that a recent wind storm had knocked lose a shutter that the buyer's agent heard creaking above her head, and threatening to fall, while she was opening the lockbox at your front door.  Or maybe an agent noticed a dead mouse on your kitchen floor.  That's new news. Things that you or your listing agent didn't notice and that need attention.  When I'm showing property, I always try to give feedback that matters like that.  Otherwise, I just let the agent know that my buyer's didn't care for the home.

What feedback from buyer's agents tends to be is vague and non-committal, or an opening attempt at negotiations.  Do buyer's agent think your home is overpriced?  What do you think they are going to answer?  They represent the buyer.  Of COURSE they are going to say it's overpriced.  Their buyers want a deal.  And buyer's agents don't want to be held to positive feedback in purchase negotiations.

The things that buyer's agents repeat over and over, that some sellers find akin to emotional abuse are comments like:

House smells like dogs.

Paint colors need to be toned down.  They are nowhere near neutral.

What are those rugs doing on a wall in every bedroom and living space?  Very distracting.

If you have a strong listing agent, they are going to tell you upfront if your house needs painting, carpet or if there are odor issues in the home.  They can address decor issues and tell you how to get a home in the type of condition that appeals to the broadest range of buyers.  Strong listing agents don't need buyer's agents to do our jobs for us.  We can tell you right off the bat if having ten different colors visible on the walls from the front door needs to be addressed.  We can look at ten year old carpet and tell you it's time to rip it up and replace it.  Agents like me, for instance, don't rely on buyer's agents to do my job.

And the absence of feedback is feedback itself.  The buyers didn't like your home.  If you are getting lots of traffic, the odds are the home just didn't appeal to them.  If you aren't getting much traffic, perhaps you are priced too high.  Again, a strong listing agent like myself, will be able to analyze your position in the market and tell you if you need to wait it out at your list price, or make an adjustment to be more competitive with other area listings.

So how important is feedback?  Well, if you are a listing agent that needs someone else to tell your sellers the hard facts, then it's critical.  If you hire a strong listing agent like me, feedback is not even a factor.  The only question I ever ask a buyer's agent is if their buyer was interested.  If a buyer's agent won't call me back with an answer, I already have the answer.  They aren't.

The real question is what kind of agent do you want listing YOUR home?  One that relies on other agents to the dirty work of the job for them, or one that is able to have an up front, honest discussion about how your home shows and how to price it?  If you want the latter and live in the Bristow-Gainesville-Haymarket marketplace, give me a call and let's get started.




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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I can see appreciating feedback as reinforcement of what you've already told them - just as Melissa Jackson pointed out when she mentioned sellers who don't listen well.

Jun 27, 2017 10:10 PM #32
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great share!!!

Sellers desperately want to know what buyers that were through their home thought.  They trust and 
believe that the feedback given by a buyer's agent is somehow valuable.

Jun 28, 2017 05:11 AM #33
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Chris... I've never had a seller client who did not want feedback. And even "difficult" feedback for things a seller has control over (such as paint colors, pet smells, etc.) can be provided in a diplomatic way.... but it is important for sellers to know.

Jun 28, 2017 05:11 AM #34
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW - Cooper City, FL
Selling Broward County Homes with Passion!

Feedback from Buyers agents is always welcomed;  if I'm a buyer's agent, I'll provide feedback if requested. Takes just a few minutes, and perhaps can help someone convince a seller to make changes or drop a price. Golden rule and all that! Good Post!

Jun 28, 2017 06:30 AM #35
Mari Velasquez
Olympus Executive Realty - Orlando, FL
Real Estate Agent serving central Florida!

Definitely, we should all pitch in and work together to get the transaction done!

Jun 28, 2017 07:42 AM #36
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Not much important. An experienced and knowledgeable listing agent knows ahead of time what the feedback will be, and what needs to be done to sell the property. However, when the credentials, lack of experience, and lack of knowledge of the listing agent is not to par or lacking, or where the seller does not believe its own agent, feedback can be a useful tool - when you can get the "right" feedback.

As a buyer-agent, I never provide feedback. What my client and I discuss is private and confidential and cannot be shared with a listing agent. Listings agents need to figure this out for and by themselves.

Jun 28, 2017 08:23 AM #37
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I remember an AR blog discussion a few weeks ago about t his same subject. I agree with your line about 'no feedback is feedback itself'. However, I do appreciate it when agents give diplomatic and constructive feedback. When I show, my feedback usually includes compliments and then some criticism if warranted. I wish more agents took the time to give feedback.

Jun 28, 2017 08:26 AM #39
Karen Hellier
Freelance Writer - Big Canoe, GA
Freelance Writer for Professionals, North Georgia

I can understand why feedback would be important to a seller and their agent. When my husband and I were looking at homes in Big Canoe, the first home on our list was one where we found a dead bird lying on one of the bedroom floors. I live all animals so was quite traumatized by the sight and felt so bad for the bird, I couldn't concentrate on the house. I am sure it affected other potential buyers as well. There was no way we would even think twice about buying that house! I told our agent to make sure he told the listing agent about that because that house would probably not have much of a chance at selling with a dead bird in it.

Jun 28, 2017 09:31 AM #40
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I do give feedback as a buyer agent, but most of the time I feel it doesn't help anyone. I never comment on price. I only give specific feedback if there's an issue such as a dead squirrel on the ground, or the heat is really high, or something like that.  When I am a listing agent, my sellers like to get feedback but I tell them not everyone will share, and the only feedback that really matters is an offer.

Jun 28, 2017 12:07 PM #41
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

I love this post.... when I was actively listing property, I never asked for feedback....didn't want it... was never going to give it to the seller.... I was the listing agent and it was my job to tell the good, the bad and the ugly of the listing....and I always did.... Chris Ann Cleland 

Jun 28, 2017 02:25 PM #42
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you for being a strong listing agent.  Sellers need someone to tell it like it is!  Good job!

Jun 28, 2017 05:36 PM #43
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I agree that a strong listing agent will have done their best to educate the Seller of the areas of the home that need attention. That does not always mean they listen. Some sellers do not think their home has a smell and having buyers agents giving this feedback reinforces and sometime convinces the seller that a remedy is in order.

I wish more buyers agents would give feed back. Most don't.

Jun 28, 2017 06:05 PM #44
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Chris Ann,

I am with you. The only really important feedback is an offer. Otherwise, it comes down to personal details, like the buyer's 13 foot sectional or two pianos that somehow need to fit in their new house. 

Jun 28, 2017 09:04 PM #45
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Chris Ann - your last paragraph makes the point.  How knowledgeable is a listing agent that needs others to explain things?

Jun 29, 2017 08:00 AM #46
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Great post, I liken this to the broker open where there is a gift card drawing if you leave them your opinion of the selling price and what the house shoud be listed for...I always ask clients if I can be honest with them, because they may not like what I have to say, but it will be what they need to hear.

Jun 29, 2017 09:42 AM #47
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Chris Ann

Feedback is a key element in successfully selling a listing.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jun 29, 2017 07:39 PM #48
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Chris Ann

Congratulations on being awarded a feature for and success.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jun 29, 2017 07:41 PM #49
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Boy this is a topic that is fought about over & over. The BA's thinking that feedback somehow makes their buyers position week. 

Jun 30, 2017 12:41 PM #50
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

The only feedback I would like to get is an offer to purchase, if I don't get that, I know there is a problem.

Jul 01, 2017 03:35 AM #51
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post. The negative issues should be addressed and corrected before listing. So, any feedback should be WOW! Imagine going on a date for the first time and you show up unclean and look like you just woke up? Would you expect to date again? 

Jul 08, 2017 10:02 AM #52
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Northern VA
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