After being in the real estate business since 1996, I have had home owners time and time again complain that as soon as the for sale sign goes up they feel as though they are being trampled on by some prospective home buyers. There seems to be a lack of etiquette in the business of home buying and frankly, I thought I would write about it.
YES, in many markets around the country their are many many foreclosures for sale. YES, these homes are vacant. YES, its exciting to be starting out the home buying process and maybe find a HOT new listing that just popped up on the market. (I've been there myself!) I understand that there are emotions attached to buying the single largest investment most people make. I do. What on earth possesses some prospective buyers to show up at a homeowners door unannounced and practically demand to be shown their home "On the Spot" or just go roaming around someones back yard and peeking in the windows (and I have seen this happen with the homeowners car in the driveway and their kids toys in the yard when its plainly obvious that the home is being occupied.)
Since my very first days in the business I have made it a point to educate my sellers that they may have someone show up at their doorstep to simply ask the visitor to call my direct line on the sign and upon a simple pre-qualification we will schedule an appointment to show the home if it fits their housing needs. Seems to me that a "serious buyer" would understand this so the bottom line is this... (That could be part of the problem and I admit that I do understand half these people may have not even contact a real estate agent yet or even know what they can afford) but if you are a serious buyer in today's market, why on earth would you see a for sale sign and just show up at a door or go running around the sellers yard. Contact your agent for a professional showing. Be courteous to the current seller and don't trample on them. In some cases they are selling the home because they are ready, willing and able to trade up. And in other cases, they may be having financial difficulties which is their reason for selling. Adding to this stress is the fact that there are many buyers out there with a lack of respect that show up on an owners doorstep and just take a for sale sign as permission to go walking around the home that is for sale peeping in windows, etc... Is that you??
If you are a serious buyer, understand that their is a human being that may be selling this home. Its still somones home. Be contious of this and contact your agent today. After a short-prequalification process, you will sift and sort through the hundreds of properties being offered for sale (that meet your price range) and select ONLY those homes that match your housing needs. You will then be treated as a VIP buyer and privatley shown these homes at a time that is convenient for you and the sellers. In addition, once your agent builds your profile of the type of home you are looking for and what area and price range, you will be sent emails with HOT new listings that match so you will be "Up To Date" with the many new listings hitting the market.
Following these steps will help to make your home purchase process a much better one!
So in closing, remember that when a home is for sale, it may still be occupied and thanks for showing your respect!