Buyer Notes... Part I

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

I'm in the market...  My family is 'thinking' of buying a new home.  And while I spend a lot of time with other buyers, it is a different beast when putting MY money on the line.  It shouldn't be... but it is.  I think it is a fantastic learning opportunity for me.  So, this is a series of posts about the things I am 'unlearning' as a real estate professional, and learning from the buyer's seat. 

Dear Seller,

As a buyer, I would love to see your house.  But... I don't really want to meet you there.  Actually, I don't want to meet your agent their, either.  We want to be free to discuss the house and how it fits (or doesn't fit) our needs and desires.  Honestly, we ARE going to make some biting remarks about the decor, paint choices, wallpaper and anything else we don't like. 

I certainly don't want to have to bend my schedule to wait until you are off work (it happens to be EXACTLY when my 2 year old is down for his nap...).  It might be different if your house wasn't actually vacant and without furniture. 

Having more than one picture on the listing might have helped, too.  But, while the description talked about how amazing the house was, it only showed an average exterior... one shot.  There is room for 20 on the MLS.  The competition... the 10 other homes in the price range in the same subdivision ALL had multiple pictures.  The 18 homes that are districted for the same Elementary School had multiple pictures... except that fully trashed foreclosure.  But it didn't require an appointment during my son's nap time to visit. 

I understand that you don't think anyone can show your house as well as you can.  You know EVERYTHING about the property, and if you show the property, you are right there to answer any concerns or point out any subtle advantages your home has over the competition.  But buyers... us included... want to be free to discuss what we like and don't like about the property.  And with a seller trailing along... or in the next room... or the driveway... we just don't feel comfortable doing that.  So, rather than 'basking' in your home and giving it time to grow on us, we end up hurrying out. 

Through the use of tools like the Supra Lockbox, your agent will know exactly who has accessed the home, and when.  Agents can't just give them their key... unless they are looking to find a different profession.  There is no lockbox code to allow them free access to the house. 

I hate to be blunt, and we might have not chosen your house even if we DID see it... but it didn't have a chance. 

Keep in mind, I don't think it is your fault.  I blame your real estate agent.  It isn't a limited service, MLS only brokerage... it is a full service broker.  But the agent should not have accepted the listing with the restrictions you wanted to place on viewing the property.  And if the restriction came from the agent, you shouldn't have listed with that agent... the restrictions are seriously inhibiting your ability to sell your property. 

Maybe next time.

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  1. Lisa Ludlow Archer 07/22/2010 03:42 AM
Home Selling
Georgia Gwinnett County Lilburn
Georgia Real Estate
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Wade Kawahara
Dominion Real Estate Partners, LLC - Phoenix, AZ

I know what you mean.  I just showed a home a few days ago where the seller followed my buyer from room to room.  He couldn't wait to leave.  My buyer said how uncomfortable that made him.

Jun 24, 2010 06:06 PM #1
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

If only sellers got this.

Jun 24, 2010 07:36 PM #2
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Very good points. . .nice post!

Jun 24, 2010 11:09 PM #3
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

How true.  I just went through this with an agent who had a by appointment only on an empty house.  It made no sense what so ever and when we finally did get inside it didn't compare to the other houses in the neighobrhood.  Oh and they were vacant and on lockbox.

Jun 24, 2010 11:47 PM #4
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

I chalk this up to a seller's fear overriding common sense. A gentle reminder can go a long way unless the seller is so uptight they've closed off their ability to listen.

Jun 25, 2010 12:08 AM #5
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Advising sellers to get out of their own way to get their home sold is HARD to do.  You should be able to view it and THEN ask questions if necessary.....great series!!!

Jun 25, 2010 12:20 AM #6
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Lane, it is always a learning experience to put on a buyer or seller hat and experience what they go through...or not.


Jun 25, 2010 02:48 AM #7
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Lane, You are right on target with this one- sellers  should not be at the showing and if possible make the house easy to show - it's all in their best interest.  And since you didn't get to see it, obviously you aren't going to buy it!

Jun 26, 2010 03:56 PM #8
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Lane -

I know (because you told us) that you were only relearning things you (and all experienced agents) already knew.

So why do you suppose the listing agent didn't overcome this problem? Did he not know all those things?  Since he didn't do his duty on this issue, would he do his duty on others?

Jun 26, 2010 10:26 PM #9
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Jim - The listing agent has forgotten what it looks like to walk into a house as a buyer... 

Jul 25, 2010 02:59 PM #10
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