I had a showing yesterday that I thought I would share. I'm sure this has happened to all of you, because I know it happens to me, well, not all the time, but definitely more often than I'd like. I had an appointment at 2:00 and I was trying to squeeze another appointment in at noon. I only had 2 houses to show in Richardson, TX (North Dallas) and knew that would allow me more than enough time to get back to East Dallas where my other appointment was. Well, little did I know, I was going to be on the next episode of, "Hi!! I'm the seller; let me SELL my house!"
Yep!! The sellers were home! OH NO!!!
Ok Ok, the sellers being home is not a HUGE deal.. I mean the showing service didn't let them know about the appointment - not their fault! However, after the appointment, I wouldn't be surprised if the sellers conveniently "didn't get the message from the showing service," because they were trying to sell their home from the moment we stepped foot in the door. My client is an investor and we are usually in and out of a home in 10 minutes MAX!! We were in this house for nearly 40 minutes, and it was all of about 1500sf. Here are the issues we had with this:
1. The house was completely cluttered!! And I'm not just saying an extra antique lamp here and there. I mean the walls were COVERED in pictures, paintings, crosses, masks, etc. And it wouldn't be 1 picture, 1 painting, 1 cross.. there would be 30 crosses entirely covering this portion of the wall, and 15 paintings covering that portion. On top of that, there were paintings, shelves, STUFF leaning against every single wall leaving a very narrow path throughout the entire home. PILES of clothes in the bedrooms and TONS of pots and pans in the kitchen. I have NEVER seen anything like this in my life. I felt like a colony of ants making our way through tunnels of "precious" nick nacks.
2. The seller was pointing out not only what they had improved (i.e. the roof was new in 2008, the tile was new in 2010, etc.), BUT, they were pointing out every thing wrong with the house as well. I could hear the calculator in my client's head as he was lowering his offer price - if he was even still considering making an offer. While this is GREAT information for my client, can you imagine the listing agent's reaction to an email that reads: "My clients are offering xyz because of 'these items" mentioned by your client that are in disrepair."
3. The seller went into DETAIL about their financial situation.. What's that?? OH!!! That would be the calculator in my client's head again! A buyer should NEVER know the seller's financial situation! Period!! While these are all advantages to my client, I can only imagine what the listing agent would think. THEN, the seller starts talking negatively about her agent and how she was forgetful, hard to get a hold of, and priced the home lower than they agreed, just before asking me and my clients for advice. I let her know that was none of our business and that would need to be discussed with HER agent.
STOP TALKING !!!!!
This was such a horrible showing on so many levels. I tried to stop the touring, but the sellers would say they would leave us to tour the home while mentioning something else about the house in the same breath. I tried to end the conversation so we could leave and as we're heading out the door they would ask another question or say something else about the house leading my client into another 5 minute conversation. When they started talking about their agent, I had had enough. I really got firm and let them know we were on a tight schedule and really had to leave. I thanked them for allowing us to show, mentioned she really needed to talk to her agent about any concerns, and we left!
This was such an uncomfortable showing for me and it placed me in a very awkward position. I always advise my clients that they have representation for a reason and it is completely unnecessary for them to ever have to speak to the other party; unless it's after the fact (closing, option period, when negotiations are not taking place, etc.) and they need to know how to work the pool equipment, or something like that! But definitely not at the very beginning, early stages of the process when negotiations are taking place, or about to take place. And, to take it a step further, a buyers agent should NEVER speak to the seller directly, just ask the listing agent should NEVER speak to the buyer directly. This was such a horrible showing and I haven't even told you that I was now running late for my next appointment that I had not 100% prepared for (my fault, I know!).
I realize the sellers thought they were being helpful and really "selling" their home and, honestly, they were really kind and lovely and offered a lot of great information we wouldn't have otherwise known. But what they needed to realize is that they were offering entirely too much information and really hurting themselves. And, too, if we saw the pipe for the sink sitting IN the sink instead of under the sink where it belongs, I would have simply picked up the phone and called the listing agent who could have offered the same information. Listing agents, I think, sometimes don't know how to be direct and make their clients understand the importance of being gone for all showings!! Even if it's a surprise showing, kindly step outside and any considerate buyers agent will make the showing as quick as possible.