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.