San Antonio Home Buyers - Why Many Agents Won't Show You A Home "Right Now!"

Real Estate Agent with Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME

Generic red "home for sale" sign.It's a common thing.

Recently SarahGray Lamm wrote a post titled, "ADVICE NEEDED: Blogging Works. Now What..."  The basic premise of the post was how to handle the buyer who calls and says "I need to see this house right now."  Not a client, but someone you've never met before.  Every Realtor® I know gets these calls and everyone I know handles them a little differently, but the outcome is typically the same.  I'm hoping to help San Antonio home buyers understand why many agents won't show the home on short notice.

Time Management

To put it simply, we as agents need to manage our time.  We don't sit around lounging in the office just waiting for the next phone call to come in.  If we did, we'd all be broke.  With the internet and cell phones we are much more accessible, but we're not necessarily free at the moment we take that call.  We have a daily dose of inspections, paperwork, showings, closings, meetings, prospecting (the act of finding new clients), and the usual things - dinner, family time, rest, etc.  Agents have schedules to keep.  Even occasionally, I am free at the moment, but know that if I go show houses right this moment, I will miss my next appointment.  Time management is a huge part of our daily lives.

Qualifying Buyers.

I know a lot of people that want to buy a house don't like this step.  I've had a prospective client ask me "What does it matter to you if I'm not pre-approved, I know I can get the loan."  I find this one of the hardest things for a prospective client to deal with.  They often feel we are calling them into question - almost as if we were saying "That's great, but I don't trust you."  Because we don't know each other yet, there isn't a ton of trust between the two of us.  We have to build that overtime.  There's a certain amount that we must take as a leap of faith and I am fine with that.  But sitting down and qualifying a buyer isn't just about a loan, it's about getting to know the prospective client (and you getting to know your prospective agent) and getting to know what their goals our in buying a home.  We want to help you find the right home, not just any home.


If you like what you're hearing and you'd like to work with me as your San Antonio real estate agent, there is some paperwork we should get out of the way now.  Here in San Antonio we use a Residential Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement.  It lays out the rules of our work together and defines our relationship as that of buyer and agent.  Making someone your agent creates a situation that allows us to offer you our advice and opinions and binds us to work for you and you to work with us.  (I think I'll write an upcoming post on the Buyer Representation Agreement).


Let's face it, there are some strange people in this world and there more than a couple of stories about agents going to a showing and being attacked.  I'm sure you're not a vicious killer, but let's meet up first just in case.


As an agent that started about a year and a half ago in the San Antonio real estate business, I know new agents.  I even write about it at AgentGenius.  I'm not here to say they're bad agents, I mean, we all have to start somewhere.  What I do know is that these are the agents that will typically jump at any chance to go on a showing.  Why?  Because they're hungry.  They have little to no business and will do anything to get more.  What usually happens?  They wind up chasing their tails and not selling any homes anyway.  I know because I've been there.  I spent my first few months running after everyone and selling nothing.  As we mature a bit as agents we learn more about the other factors I've mentioned and we start practicing "smart" real estate in order to build our businesses and grow our client base.

photo courtesy of TheTruthAbout...


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Malisa Spivey 09/14/2009 02:33 AM
  2. Erica Ramus 09/14/2009 09:52 AM
  3. SarahGray Lamm 09/15/2009 08:44 AM
  4. Mark Hall 09/15/2009 11:32 AM
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Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

It all makes sense to me...getting the prospect to understand is the challenge sometimes!

Sep 14, 2009 01:36 AM #2
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

You have touched on some very tricky situations while dealing with buyers.  I know we have all at one point or another "chased our tails around".  It's not fun, not rewarding & only brings more frustration in our lives.  Besides the other issues you have mentioned I also have a huge concern about safety, I haven't been able to get that across to potential buyers though, you always hear about some Realtor somewhere that met up with a potential buyer that caused them harm.  We have to take precautions to protect ourselves.  Our lives are much more valuable than a commission check.

Sep 14, 2009 01:53 AM #3
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Matt, do you think all this blogging helped you "get" it faster than most.

Good for you!!  I think most of us early on in our careers need the business so bad, we chase our tails around. But, after we are settled in our careers, don't see the need. You caught on quickly.

Sep 14, 2009 01:59 AM #4
Malisa Spivey
Key Real Estate Services & Property Management - Lorena, TX
My Opinions are Free and I Freely give them.

This so goes along with my post on Rasing the Bar in Real Estate, if Brokers made it a requirment that all new clients must meet the agent at the office and then if they are going to take them to a house, that they get a copy of their drivers license.  What is wrong with safety procedures and protocols that make us more professional.  I am not sure a Doctor would just up and come to your house because you called him, nor are they going to clear their schedule for you.  If we set the stage others will follow, because the general public will soon see the value in the difference.  Good Post.

Sep 14, 2009 02:40 AM #5
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Just yesterday somebody call and said they wanted to meet at a house a few hours later - they left a message with the time and just expected us to be there! ~Rita

Sep 14, 2009 03:51 AM #6
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Florida and Washington Real Estate

Hi Matt. I have had my share of people expecting me to show them a house with an hour's notice. The type of people I like to work with are those who respect my time along with my knowledge.


Sep 14, 2009 04:48 AM #7
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Claudette - It's a good way to run your business.  It's interesting as I have had people say that "I've never had to do that before when I bought a house" after giving them my take on things.  It's always an interesting point in the conversation, because at that point it becomes my job to rationally explain why my business is different than the other times they've bought or sold in the past.  Lucky for me, I'm good with rational thought.

Gary - Yes, and it isn't always possible.  But I do my best to get them to think about it as if they were me (or any other agent).

Kristin - The link I provided is full of instances of agents being harmed in one way or another.  I don't want to live in fear all the time, but I do have to accept reality.

Missy - I can say without a doubt that it did.  You remember my first days on AgentGenius (really the first posts about real estate I ever wrote).  I had the best classroom on earth in my opinion.  When I moved some of my blogging efforts over here and became more personally involved with some of the agents I was looking up to, it became an even greater asset to me.

I still have to stop myself sometimes and slow myself down.  My problem is that I love doing the work, so I can't get enough of it!

Malisa and Damon - ActiveRain seems to be having a bad day and I can't open your blog (it just hangs).  I will come back to it though as I love cross-reference posts like that.  One thing I am always wary about though - comparing ourselve to doctors.  I think the consumer doesn't see this in the best light.  Although what we do is a little more complicated than the average person thinks it is, it's not brain surgery.  I've seen consumers react to similar statements with shock that we place ourselves in the same category.  I know what you mean by your mention of it, but I also see the consumer's side of it.

Rita - The worst part of those calls when I was a brand new agent was being stood up more times than not.

Lana - It's tough, because I can see their excitement and desire to go now.  I think we'll see even more of it in the coming years as the internet becomes more and more important to the consumer.  At some point it may become a more serious issue, so I'll be curious to see how it continues.

Sep 14, 2009 06:29 AM #8
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Malisa and Damon - Great post and I agree.  Although I was given the advantage of the education requirements, I am a firm believer in education and take classes whenever I can.  In my first year, I took a bunch of classes that I didn't even need for my requirements to renew.  I will continue that this year and every year there after.

Sep 14, 2009 06:39 AM #9
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Matt... I think that you have hit the target with this post.  As you have illustrated, there is a seemingly endless number of reasons why many agents will not drop what they are doing to go show a home and only one for why some will... lack of buisiness.  Ironically, it's often the same motivator behind agents offering commission discounts.

Sep 14, 2009 06:47 AM #10
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Steve - I think every agent has stories about how they once did it in the past and learned the hard way.  I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.  I would up with nothing but gas receipts for it.

Sep 14, 2009 06:53 AM #11
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Matt, I have to admit I have 'dropped everything' for clients but now have learned that most of the is a waste of time. For me, it was a matter of being excited! to be an agent and wanting to participate! After a few duds, I have learned to stop and take the necessary steps to qualify and do the paperwork before we do anything else. Great post!

Sep 14, 2009 08:57 AM #12
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Wanda - That's the amazing part.  I think everyone does it, but then it comes to a breaking point and they realize how bad it is for them.  I admit, I probably will make the mistake again someday.  Like you, I get excited.  I have learned to control it, but sometimes, my emotions get the best of me.

Erica - Now that's a comment I can live with!  Thank you!

Sep 15, 2009 12:22 AM #14
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,


Hi Matt:

I'm sure we've all had our share of those calls.

Sometimes I do go ahead and make the appointment. 

It all depends on my schedule.

Sep 15, 2009 12:32 AM #15
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Matt - Thanks for saying it so well! Blogging and social media have really opened up the doors to hearing from many more folks at every stage of home searching. After 30 years I have learned well what is required to accomplish the goal of the client as well as ensuring that I run a sustainable business that allows me to keep going year after year, serving more and more clients.

In the big picture, only the medium has changed...people are still people. Folks need a trusted advisor and that is something I have been to my clients for many, many years! In this brave new world of internet and social media it simply becomes more and more important that I stick to what I KNOW will serve my clients best...even when they find me through the internet and not one of my previous clients!

Thanks for writing this...I feel special ;-) I'm also reblogging it to share with my future clients!

Sep 15, 2009 08:34 AM #16
Mark Hall
Realty One Group Cascadia - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

Matt, thank you for the timely post. I have just reblogged it. Often times, buyers are put off by the fact that we can't meet them at the drop of a hat to show them a home. You have done everyone a great service by explaining that the agents who will meet them at a minute's notice are probably not the agents who they want to represent them in a transaction. Great job!

Sep 15, 2009 11:37 AM #17
Johnny Morrow
Track The Lead - San Antonio, TX
Simple CRM Development

I really enjoy working with buyers... But what I enjoy even more is working with Qualified buyers!  After showing homes to many non-qualified buyers early in my career, lesson taken.... lesson learned.  Sure wish I could have had a mentor at the time to show me the way!  but life is an education class on a daily basis.  I do have to admit.... every once in a while I wil meet a client without first qualifying them...  When I don't have anything on my plate and figure, well I can always use the practice...

Sep 15, 2009 03:39 PM #18
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Toula - I don't think most agents will ever be truly finished with the call-jump-run routine.  It's not easy to break away from and occasionally the gut tells you that you should go with it.

SarahGray - What I loved about your post (and your blog) is that you admit that you're getting used to blogging/social media and you want to learn how to adapt to it.  You have years of experience, but are moving into new ways of thinking of things.  I love it!  I like the way you question the membership here and look for advice and opinion.  Cool to have my post re-blogged by someone who inspired the post!  Thanks.

Mark - I think one of the key things I mentioned is that I might be sitting around right this moment, but often it involves what I'm doing later whether or not I can fit something in.  I don't like to not be accessible, but if I were accessible all the time, I wouldn't be in business anymore.

EXIT IH 10 - I think we're all guilty from time to time and I as I mentioned to Toula - sometimes your gut tells you what to do!

Sep 16, 2009 02:46 AM #19
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Showing homes to an individual who will not get pre approved and sign a buyers rep agreement is a waste of time.

A work of caution one should have a written, documented policy in place.  If you show a buyer who will not comply with you policy, and you refuse to show another buyer you have discriminated.

Sep 16, 2009 03:39 AM #20
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Hi Matt ~ Buyers are definitely out in the market right wanting to see properties, and pronto! I had three buyers call me last week who wanted to meet me a the house they were interested in. All three  were a bit irritated that I would not drive out to meet them right away.

The perception is that we agents are desperate right now and, like you mentioned above, are just sitting around our offices just waiting for the phone to ring.

I believe that buyers who are truly ready to buy will take the time to answer are few questions and get pre-qualified and approved once they have contacted a Realtor!

Sep 16, 2009 07:52 AM #21
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Richard - Good point about the policy and discrimination.  Here's something I've always wondered about though.  What happens if day one I refuse somebody something, then I decide my policy doesn't work, so I change policy and on day two, I perform that exact same service for someone else.  It was always one of those "what if" questions that pop into my head.

Terrie - The perception of desperation helps drive this, that's for sure.  I try to explain to prospective clients that one of the things I provide is a committment to them.  This committment means I'm there for them when they need me and will do what it takes to resolve anything or answer questions when they have them.  In order to committ to someone on that level, I need the same sort of committment from them as well.  I need to know that when I have a question for them - I can get them on the line and get things done.  (All these new photos everywhere!  I like this one.)

Sep 17, 2009 02:11 AM #22
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