Real Estate Comedy - Shown By Appointment Rider

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Olsen Ziegler Realty

I was driving down the road today and noticed a real estate for sale sign with a rider that said:

Shown by Appointment

Since I was driving, it's easy to let your mind wander (much to the dismay of safety officials) but what the heck, it sure beats texting, eating and jamming to music simultaneously.  Disclaimer:  I don't text when driving, eating and jamming are separate issues.

Anyway, I got to thinking, what does this rider really convey?  More importantly, what does it NOT mean?

Shown by Appointment -- as opposed to what?  Perhaps the opposite of this rider could be:

  • No Appointment Necessary
  • Open 24x7
  • Everyone...come on in, anytime
  • Shown only on Mondays between 10-11am
  • Shown Next Week

Does this rider say to any consumer on the street:

  • All I have to do is simply call the agent, make an appointment and I can see this home.  If the agent then asks the buyer if they are pre-approved for a loan and the buyer says no, then doesn't this contradict the rider?  After all, I called and wanted to make an appointment.
  • Don't knock on the door
  • No Trespassing
  • No Solicitors Allowed
  • Don't bother me unless you are serious

As a REALTOR, aren't all showings requested as an appointment?  If the home is not having an open house, which is typically advertised with an "open now", "open today", "open Sunday", etc., with directionalarrows and perhaps some local advertising, then how is a buyer working with a buyer's agent, or an unrepresented buyer suppose to see this house?  Wouldn't they then setup an appointment to see this home?

Sometimes, I wonder, if the real estate industry, when it comes to marketing, would be better served to hire real marketing gurus to vet out all the crazy and hilarious statements, claims, spin, hype and other things this industry communicates to the general public.

I saw another rider that said "Available Now" -- as opposed to when?  If a property is for sale, isn't it available to purchase?  Lemme see...I have a property for sale but it's not available for 9 months?

Disclaimer:  I'm just having a little fun here and this post shouldn't be taken that seriously -- after all, I had too much time on my hands driving down the road.


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Claxton Insurance Agency LLC
Claxton Insurance Agency, LLC - Columbia, SC

Thanks for the post. Humor is a welcomed luxury in this industry.

Dec 19, 2009 12:42 PM #1
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Makes perfect sense.  As you say the only time anyone can walk off the street and into a house for sale is when there is an open house.  Sign riders are often up for debate as to what they could mean.

Dec 19, 2009 12:44 PM #2
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Chris, that is one of those DUH moments.  I have seen those signs also and DUH it what usually comes to mind. 

Dec 19, 2009 12:45 PM #3
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

These are things we do to help our clients. Appt. only  definitely means don't just come to the door and ask to see the house.

Dec 19, 2009 01:02 PM #4
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Cindy -- I agree with your last statement

Marchel -- Thats was my reaction as well

Michelle -- I have never used this rider and have never had someone off the street come and knock on the door.  Does the absence of this rider give an implicit thought to a prospective buyer that it's okay to do so?

Dec 20, 2009 01:28 AM #5
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Travis -- Very true.

Dec 20, 2009 01:36 AM #6
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Chris, I've so wondered the same as I drive by similar riders. Sort of like they bought the 'variety' pack of riders and all of the good ones were gone but SOMETHIN' has to go in those brackets! As for random door knockers...I always advise my clients NOT to honor those requests on the off chance that they should occur. WAY too dangerous for a homeowner...literally!

A random thought...the sign that speaks volumes is the one that is bent, tilted or covered in mud and grass. Now THAT'S a message folks hear loud and clear!

Dec 20, 2009 05:52 AM #7
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales


Yeah, thanks for this one Chris. I also love the 17 riders, you know, when they buy the pack and then decide to just hang all of it. 

I only use one rider, it is for my 800 number - and well - I had them print it on the sign. I think a rider implies that you thought about all this stuff later. 

Oh, wait, we are keeping someone employed making these things. 

Dec 22, 2009 01:14 AM #8
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Chris - While I'm not a Realtor looking at house signs, I do often have the same wonderings about underwriting conditions.  Some of the conditions I get asked these days just make no sense when the underwriter sends them to us.  For example, asking for verification for funds to close on a cash out refi (one that I just got today).  WTF???

My point is (and I do actually have one) that there is just no rhyme or reason to some of the stupid things going on in our industry today.  I have since, given up trying to make sense of some of it.

Dec 22, 2009 08:39 AM #9
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi SarahGray -- Interesting perspective, and you are right about the mud/grass/etc.

Hi Terkel -- Very funny and we get a lot of those around here.

Hi Donne -- You are wicked funny and I'm with you!!! :)

Dec 22, 2009 08:45 AM #10
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Just one thought on the "available now" - I can only think that might apply to new construction, when completion is a month or two down the road.  It's

Dec 22, 2009 10:10 PM #11
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

There really are some dumb sayings in Real Estate. My all time favorite is "priced to sell" Duh no kidding:)

Dec 22, 2009 10:57 PM #12
C. Lloyd McKenzie
Albuquerque, NM
Living Albuquerque

Good observation Chris!  Realtors in general like to jump on the band wagon.  

There is another dimension to Bill's point. Whereas that should be the case (priced to sell), I can't tell you how often have seen listings with this phrase while the house is over-priced.  I usually target these for expired listing campaign.  

Dec 26, 2009 12:22 PM #13
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2009 06:19 AM #14
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Penny -- Good point.  This home I saw it on was 50 years old.

Hi Bill -- Funny, sad and true.

Hi C. Lloyd -- Yes, sometimes sellers are more receptive the 2nd time around.

Hi Russel -- Same to you!  I'm with your cat!

Dec 27, 2009 06:45 AM #15
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