The Confident Rookie Series - Secret Three - Don't Wing it with Your New Buyer!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Moving on from yesterday's rant, here's the third Secret to Being a Confident Rookie - Preview, Preview, Preview!! house

Before you go out with a buyer for the first time, preview every single house you're considering showing him or her. I promise you, you'll rule out more than half of them and will be relieved that you did. If you show a typical buyer a house that shows poorly, smells funny or has a crazy floorplan, he'll figure you don't know what you're doing, because buyers think we know every house in town.

Even with interior photos and google earth and virtual tours, you cannot properly evaluate a house without going to see it. I mean, think about it - if a house has a major flaw, do you think the listing agent is going to spell it out for you in the MLS description? Or make sure that it's highlighted in the photos? Uh, no.

As a new agent, making a habit to preview-before-showing will give you tremendous confidence as you work with your new buyers. You'll look far more experienced and self-assured, and won't be caught off-guard by a mis-advertised or fatally-flawed property.

Oh, and you'll also ensure that you don't get lost with your buyer in the car! More on that tomorrow...


The Confident Rookie Series:

  1. Know Your Systems
  2. Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
  3. Preview, Preview, Preview
  4. Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
  5. Cheerfully Waste Your Time
  6. Find Your Handyman
  7. Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
  8. Get Comfy with Your Commission
  9. Admit that You're New
  10. What to say when you don't know the answer

Stay tuned...


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April 18
Representing Your Buyer in a Short Sale

April 22
The Art of Commission Negotiation

May 13
REALTOR Moms - How DO You do it??


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Yvette Gardner 04/07/2009 02:21 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
Real Estate Rookie
Selling Soulfully
New Agent's Fasttrack to SUCCESS!
Newbies Again
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Good advice for both the new agents and the experienced agents.

Apr 07, 2009 07:36 AM #31
Jabin Norris
CENTURY 21 Anne Arnold - Holden Beach, NC
Centurion 08null, Broker/Realtor, ABR, SRS, e-Pro

Great advice! We often just dive in w/ new buyers hoping to strick gold. If I knew every buyer I met was true I'd be more picky I beleive.

Apr 07, 2009 08:02 AM #32
Kim Dean - McKinney, TX
d + b real estate, McKinney, TX REALTOR Broker/Own

Jennifer - I like this advice. Nothing can zap the beauty of a gorgeous, well-priced listing like the smell of cigarette smoke! Previewing also helps newbies with the little things like getting comfortable with opening keyboxes. Great series - I'm looking forward to more!

Apr 07, 2009 08:59 AM #33
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

I like to preview homes and your advise is spot on!  It saves ME so much time.  So many buyers like to dink around in homes that they obviously aren't going to buy.  I previewed 10 one day last week for a buyer, but only went in 3.  I could tell from the street they were NOT going to like it...(wood windows, rotted wood, unsightly neighbor or whatever). 

When I"m really really busy I don't have time, but it sure does help if we can preview.  Makes us look like we know everything, doesn't it? lol..we do!

Apr 07, 2009 09:43 AM #34
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


Only one time in over 10 years as a Realtor did I sell a home without the Buyer seeing it....much against my did work out, but I do not recommend

Apr 07, 2009 09:53 AM #35
Stephen Graham
Inactive - Atlanta, GA

While I usually don't preview in advance, I can certainly see how it would help an agent from being surprised. It's important for me to feel in control of the showing process; so, if this can avoid being caught off guard, then it may be worth implementing.

Apr 07, 2009 09:57 AM #36
Jeanne Gregory

I went out to preview a home yesterday.  Lovely old home.  Ratty apartment building right across the street.  Houston has no zoning laws. You need to preview here!

Apr 07, 2009 09:59 AM #37
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Jeanne - EXACTLY!!!! That's the kind of thing that makes previewing necessary, at least in non-tract neighborhoods.

Stephen - I'm surprised that as a buyer's agent you don't preview. Is it not common there?

Dan - I'm not saying that a buyer should buy sight-unseen - just that a new agent might not want to SHOW sight unseen!

Elizabeth - I so agree! If I can rule out 5 houses, I've saved us both time.

Apr 07, 2009 10:04 AM #38
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Great advice Jennifer.  There is no substitute for walking though a home.  It's amazing what it reveals.

Apr 07, 2009 10:53 AM #39
Kathy Carson
John Stewart Walker, Inc - Lynchburg, VA
Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell

Jennifer - Again I agree with you!!!!  Very Good advice for anyone but especially for Rookies!  If I am showing property out of my "comfort" range I will still drive the route and preview.  And another thing I do for all of my Buyers when I am showing them for the 1st time and/or showing them several houses - I make them a "Showing Sheet/Schedule" with the address, MLS# & price.  This is the cover sheet for copies of all of the MLS Listing Sheets - I clip to a clipboard and give them a pen.  This they can use to make notes and it reminds them where we went and in what order so they can talk & think about the houses when they go home.  Of Course I am always amazed at the Buyers that leave it all in the car when they are looking at the house!!!

Thanks - Kathy

Apr 07, 2009 11:19 AM #40
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

I remember showing property to a client 20 years ago (who has since become one of my best clients) looking for a second home. As we passed certain homes I commented on why I wasn't showing that home. The prospect asked to see a couple of them, then determined that my assessment was correct, and the trust began.

Apr 07, 2009 11:37 AM #41
James J. Weber
Keller Williams Pocono - Milford, PA

Jennifer - Previewing is part of doing your homework and knowing your product and being prepared for the appointment.

Apr 07, 2009 12:11 PM #42
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I have found that if I preview and rule out houses, my buyer has been looking at them online and WANTS to see them. It seems that more and more buyers are online looking at photos etc and they have their own ideas about what they want to see.  i agree that it should save time to preview but man what I am seeing and getting is that buyers want to see them all.

Apr 07, 2009 12:57 PM #43
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Judy -  I agree and if my buyer gives me a list, I'll honor it. But I will try to do what Sharon suggested above and look for opportunities to demonstrate my good judgment!

James - seems obvious to me, too!

Sharon - I LOVE it when that happens!

Kathy - I'm not a note-taker, so I would be one of those buyers who leaves it in the car. Don't let it bother you! I'm sure they still appreciate it.

Chris - Absolutely!

Apr 07, 2009 01:08 PM #44
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

Jennifer.. Great information.

I was tought to drive different routes to look for new business opportunities

Apr 07, 2009 03:27 PM #45
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Hi Jennifer; I agree that previewing is key - no matter if you are new or an old hand. With all the REO properties some of them need major work. I have modified things a bit though. Now I go ahead and show most buyers a few of the dumps! My buyers were starting to think all the houses were good! Once they saw a few of the bad ones initially they started moving faster when  a good one came along!

Apr 07, 2009 04:46 PM #46
Sheila H. Bragg, ABR
ERA Southeast Coastal Real Estate - Guyton, GA

Jennifer, you're so right.  I typically route stuff out on paper before we head out but after my last experience, driving is prior to is best. 

I was working a new homesite and some out of town buyers came in.  I looked at my laptop to find the homes in the subdivision they would be interested in and we took off.  It was a small circle and a cul-de-sac. Nothing large.  One house I could not find to save my life.  I know they thought I was just plain stupid but I made a joke about it and they laughed with me.  Later, I got a chance to talk to another agent about the incident and she told me that house was not even built yet.  It didn't exist.  I didn't read the entire MLS sheet, I just glanced at the photo (usually they are drawings or list under construction if they aren't built yet) and the address and off we went.  Won't make that mistake again! lol

Apr 08, 2009 03:45 AM #47
Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate

Great advice.  Even for those that are not completely new, being updated on homes is good, the more knowledge we all have, the better.

Apr 08, 2009 06:41 AM #48
Lisa Arnold
Weichert Realtors/Forked River - Forked River, NJ

Great advice Jennifer.  I've been previewing several houses a week in addition to what we caravan, well, mainly because I'm not working with any buyers yet and have plenty of time. 

Margaret, one of the things that I learned in school was to try to preview seller occupied homes that have been on the market for a while and may be expiring within the next month or so.  Great chance to build a little report with them!  Explain that you preview your houses before you take your buyers out so you show them the houses that best suit their needs.  I usually go out later in the week and say that I have buyers coming down that weekend.  Talk to them a little bit so they get to know you, like you, and remember you.  Don't mention anything about taking over the listing after it expires! Then watch your MLS and if you see it expire, you already have a foot in the door.  Oh, and if they ask why you never brought around your seller, say something like they got laid-off and can't move at this time, not that they didn't like the house. 

Apr 09, 2009 12:37 AM #49
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Lisa - I always find that when I preview, I meet someone very soon for whom the knowledge I gained is useful! It's good karma, I swear.

Heather - Yes!

Sheila - that's hilarious!!!

Eileen - I agree - dumps are important to check out, too... but not if my buyer tells me specifically that they want something perfect.

Roland - Driving different routes also helps you learn a neighborhood more intimately.

Apr 09, 2009 12:45 AM #50
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