Yes, I DO...Part 2

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291

Appointment CalendarI just couldn't let it go, this topic of listing agents wanting to be present during a showing. Last February I talked about how I make my own appointments, and as often as possible, I also do the showings. It's not that I don't have enough to fill up my time – does this calendar look as if I have nothing better to do? And no, I'm not a greedy listing agent wanting to steal buyers; I have all the referrals I can handle and then some. What I do want is to get the house sold! 

It all comes down to the level of service that I want for my clients. I choose to limit my clients to special people, people I really want to work with. Taking care of sellers is the most important thing I do, and that means I make the appointments and, if possible, I do the showings. I've had many sellers who wanted and needed me to be there during a showing: elderly people, recent widows and widowers, young families with small children, people with pets, and those with other special needs.

GrandmotherOlder CoupleAnyone can put on a lock box, put up a sign, and set a low price, then wait for the contracts. I choose to go for quality first, and that means that having many people trooping through is not necessarily the best way to sell a house. Ask yourself: If you were showing your parents' home, would you want a lock box and uncontrolled showings? Or would you like an agent you trust to be looking out for your Mom and Dad?

Selling a home is stressful. Showings are stressful. My job is to do whatever I can to alleviate the stress for my sellers. To share the frustration when an agent is two hours late or does not show up or call at all. To allay their stress when an agent shows up but doesn’t come in. I am not there to make it easy for agents who are not prepared or who make a bunch of appointments on the spur of the moment.

I explain all this to my sellers. We may have fewer showings – we may even miss an occasional showing. But the buyers and agents who call about the home will talk with me to make the appointments, and then I have an opportunity to share special things about the property. Yes, all the information about the property is in the listing, but not every agent reads past the price and address before taking their buyer out. And some are not aware of the importance of specifics about the property that I can explain. Here's an example: I have saved countless hours of NOT showing a particular property with what looked like a terrific price, because people read "Co-op" and think it means "Condo." But it's not the same. The co-op requires cash contracts only, so there can be no mortgage, and does not allow pets. By talking with prospective buyers or their agents first, I can save everyone a lot of time while saving my clients the extra stress of having showings that should never happen.Walking Dogs

I always tell the agents if I will be there for the showing, and always ask if they have a problem with my presence. I have found that 99% of them appreciate my being there to point out features of the home, especially if they have never seen the property. Then I go into another room and allow them to stay as long as they like while I do other work (like commenting on AR posts). But if they don't want me there, they can say so.

Recently I met an agent at one of my new listings. The first thing he said was, "This is just too small. There's no way they will have any interest." He was not even going to let his buyers come in. I asked that since they were already there, would they please come in and take a look around? Then I had the opportunity to say, "Yes it is a small house ...but did you see the family room which can be a third bedroom or guest room? And did you see the size of the yard and the hot tub? Did you notice the pull down stairs with access to attic storage?" The buyers fell in love with the house and wound up writing an over list, non-contingent contract with settlement that closes this week.Contract Handshake

At first, the agent was not happy with me, but now he sings my praises for the helpful information I was able to give to him and his buyers. He also got a bit of education in the process. He had never heard of a house built on a slab, had never heard of radiant heat. He was very grateful to have me share this information and help "close" his buyers so he could get a commission.

It does not matter whether the listing is a million dollar mansion or a fixer-upper row house.  I give one level of service to all my listings.  Yes, I do make all my appointments, and yes, I am there for most showings!

Active Rome

Comments (30)

Gregory Maley
Sold Buy the Sea Realty & R.E.N.T. - Wilmington, NC
REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO, ABR
Margaret, You're right that agents often abuse the electronic boxes.  I don't indicate that the listing is on lockbox.  Our office uses CSS (Centralized Showing Services), so the agent isn't informed about the location of my lockbox until they've scheduled an appointment.  I also usually try to place the box on a heavy duty combination bicycle chain (only the sellers and I know the combination) so that the seller can remove the lockbox if they need extra insurance that no-one will pop in unexpectedly.  I may continue to utilize CSS, in case I'm unable to answer my phone for some reason, and then follow-up with the agent to make sure they have enough information, and, when possible, attend the showings. I've noticed, since our long telephone chat, that I'm asking the listing agent if there's anything else I should know about the property when I schedule appointments.  I have learned some things that have been helpful.  
Jun 15, 2007 04:40 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
Gregory, I enjoyed our long telephone chat! Talking to the listing agent can be very helpful before showing a porperty. I like your idea  " ...... asking the listing agent if there's anything else I should know about the property when I schedule appointments.  I have learned some things that have been helpful."   
Jun 16, 2007 05:18 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Margaret,

I agree with Monika...service is the key to the most important message to get to your clients.

Jun 17, 2007 05:24 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Neal, Thanks for stopping by!

I met an agent at my Co-op this morning. I was very sensitive in asking if she and the buyer were familiar with this building, if they understood the difference between a condo and a coop. The buyer had no clue. I waited for the agent to answer .. she was quiet so I asked if I could "share" this information. I was able to inform both the agent and the buyer by stating how few coops there are and that most people are just not familiar.  By asking permission (in private of the agent) the buyers and the agent were appreciative of my imput. I was also able to reinforce what a good buyer's agent they had selected. Sure hope they buy this unit.

Service,education and kindness sure help in this business. BTW, this was a fairly new real estate agent and was happy that I was there to answer and explain. She let me know that she appreciated my approach.

 

Jun 17, 2007 09:36 AM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Margaret, if YOU were the agent showing the home, I certainly wouldn't object. There are several agents in our market who are great to have at the property - it's the majority who follow the buyers around, don't stop talking, insist the buyers look at features that don't matter to them, ask personal questions, etc. that are the problem.
Jun 17, 2007 10:29 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Sharon, There are  great  agents in our market!  There is nothing better than having an informed buyer's agent.

Here is a repeat of the comment that I made above...

 There is nothing better than an informed agent who is looking out for their buyers.   But here are the statistics:  
  There are over 1.5 million Realtors..40% sell less than one house a year! 7% of the agents do 93% of the business. A large number are part time agents who do not know the market!  With these odds, I need to be  making appointments and  in many cases showing my properties.  Many of the appointments  made by agents who call from the sign,  don't even know the price much less any property information. Many appointments are scheduled but not kept. Have you ever seen an elderly home owner, who does not drive, wait for that appointment for two hours.?

Jun 17, 2007 10:38 AM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Margaret...

I still think that you and my husband were separated at birth :)

P.S. Jordynne Raine took her first few steps a few days ago.

TLW...ROAR!

Jun 20, 2007 11:10 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

TLW, We do share a lot in the way we do our real estate.

How exciting that Jordynne Raine took her first steps. Do we have a picture to share? Can you see me smile??

Jun 20, 2007 12:45 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Excellent post, Margaret, as you always do. Your clients are fortunate to have you as their advocate, and your focus on service clearly sets you apart. I always used to show all my listings back East, but the protocol out here is so different except for high end homes. But I must admit I am rethinking things, in part due to my own preference but also given your post. Well done, and so much to consider. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Jeff

Jun 22, 2007 07:03 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff,Thanks for your kind comments! You have to do what feels right for you and your clients! If you ever want to talk about this...I am available.

 

Jun 22, 2007 11:06 AM
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Margaret, There is a lot of value to truly "showing" a home.  The listing agent can provide a lot of information and overcome concerns and objections.  It is a true value that you are providing.  I do this during Open Houses and I love "showing" the home's features, but I couldn't possibly be present at all showings in my market.  I've been averaging a closing every other week and I couldn't keep up with the showings.  If the home prices were higher here, I might be able to earn a living by selling fewer homes.
Jun 25, 2007 01:09 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Gail, Thanks for stopping by. When a buyer or agent calls and asks IF there is an open house, my response, "when would you like it open?'' I see no difference in showing my properties than being present for an open house. ( I do very few opens.)  If I have  showings scheduled in advance, I have been known to tack on an open. BTW I  do love to show a house and feel that there is value for me to be there.

Don't want to mislead you..I make all my own appointments...I am not at every single showing.

Jun 25, 2007 01:39 PM
Phillip Cross
TBD - In transition... - Seal Beach, CA
ePRO Realtor - Relocation Spec
Margaret, I can now see your point as well. Service is key - Making the sale is what the Seller wants. Now, next time I run across the comment "Listing Agent must be present..." I will be a little more understanding. ;-)
Jun 28, 2007 01:55 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Phillip, Thanks. Really enjoyed speaking with you this morning.

Just to repeat, I make ALL my own appointments and show quite a few. If you have a two hour window, I will make the appointment fit YOUR schedule...either a supra lockbox or a combo box put out by the seller. I have been known to go unlock the door and leave or have the seller unlock the door and wait next door.

I am looking forward to doing a transaction with you here in Baltilmore. Just let me know which property you want to sell. LOL

Jun 28, 2007 03:00 AM
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

I can't help but think that by scheduling your own appointments you definitely stand out.  Be unique or be forgotten, right? 

Thank you for the information, Margaret.  You are one of a kind.

Jan 01, 2009 01:46 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Amanda, You really understand the needs of your buyers and sellers! We are all  "one of a kind" !

The following quote from your profile page is proof:

" ...can't teach what I don't know and I feel it is crucial that my clients have the opportunity to understand as much as they want to know.  After all, they are the most important people on the Team."  

 

Jan 02, 2009 12:17 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

It sounds like you have been a REALTOR for  a very long time!  Or someone trained you right!

Jan 04, 2009 10:32 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Evelyn, I am only a year late  answering this comment.

 

Jan 21, 2011 03:26 PM
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

Great post.  Service is where the line is in the middle.  Depending on what your methods are for you to do your business is key.  I personally am so glad they have the lockbox there and agents can go review without me having to be there.  But let a buyer want to see it and I am 100% ready.  But that is the way I do it.  I like your style and both will work. 

Jun 04, 2012 12:29 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Rosemary, This response is almost a year old...but I still appreciate your comment.

May 19, 2013 11:49 AM