Agents! Did you ever feel like you need to negotiate with a seller BEFORE you even get through the front door with a potential buyer? Don't we do this all the time when we call to schedule showing appointments? How often does it happen that a seller tries to finagle a different showing time? Well, it happened to me twice today. And, I am still fuming.
Late this afternoon I called to make appointments to show 8 properties tomorrow morning and early afternoon. I consider this to be ample notice. I still don't have confirmation on half of the showing appointments, but the extent of my frustration is due to sellers who think I should accommodate their schedule.
I was expecting the listing offices to call back with confirmation and access information. Instead, the first call was a request for me to come at noon instead of the 10:30-11:30am time range I had tried to coordinate. "Let's see" I told the lady at the appointment desk at the listing firm representing the seller, "by noon I plan on being 3 towns away with this buyer." She was quiet at the other end. She understood when I told her that I have a relocating buyer who is only in town for one day and I am working geographically to cover as much territory as possible in the small window of time we have together and that all the other appointments were confirmed already and will not be changed (well, at least that was my goal). Basically, I told her under no uncertain terms that this was a take-it or leave-it showing. I continued with my rant. Poor lady. I told her how I understood that everybody likes to sleep in on a Saturday morning and if I had it my way I would too. However, this is the time my buyer requested to start out - and buyers are like gold these days so we must ALL be accomodating them. She promised to see what she could do. She pulled through. Moments later she called me back to let me know I was all set to go. Great ...but it doesn't end here.
This evening I received a call from a listing agent of one of the other properties I am trying to show in the same neighborhood tomorrow morning during the same time range. Well, there must be something in the water in this neighborhood. The listing agent explained that the sellers were contacted earlier in the day by her office for a showing appointment, but tomorrow won't work. She advises me that the wife is moving out tomorrow and there will be chaos. Huh? Well, I actually have two issues with what she was telling me. First, "the wife" is moving out separately from the husband? Can I assume this is a divorce? Now, I may be premature in thinking that this is THE house for my buyer, but now I am already planning my own negotiating strategy for this property. Shouldn't that remain a confidential piece of information between the sellers and their agent? Now I have useful in possible negotiation. And, back to not being able to accommodate us. Is it not possible to show the house anyway as long as everybody promises to stay out of the way? "Can you try to bring the buyer by next week instead?" Once again I had to explain that this is a take-it or leave-it showing ...the buyer will be in town for only one day. By the end of the night I still had not heard back from the listing agent for that property. I pretty much have written that one off.
If sellers want to sell their homes they need to make their places available to show when it's convenient to the buyer, sometimes even on a moment's notice. These were not last minute showing requests. The listing agreement/contract states that these sellers and their listing agents have agreed to cooperate with other agents to sell these homes and to even pay me if I can get the job done. But, they are not allowing me to do my job. In this challenging real estate market, it seems sellers are practically begging their listing agents to find creative ways to increase showings, get offers and get their homes sold. Yes, sellers are begging. And, beggars shouldn't be choosy.