Would You Buy a House You Can't See?

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Calfornia Realty



Have you ever wondered why a seller isn’t willing to show their home that’s on the market? As a REALTOR I see all kinds of things out in the housing market here in San Diego. This morning I was checking through some potential properties for a client and came across said situation. The only way that this particular seller is willing to show the property to my buyers is if they accept my buyers’ offer first. In addition to this condition there was no lock box with a set of keys for REALTORS to gain access without burdening the sellers.

One thing I know from experience is that any seller that won’t show their home is not really interested in selling. Why else would you not allow access to potential buyers to see your home and hopefully put an offer in? This type of listing situation more often than not happens in a short sale situation. This is unfortunate because a distress sale needs to have as much exposure as possible so as to attract as many potential buyers as possible.

Distress sales are quite different than regular equity sales in that the bank/lender must approve the sale and be willing to sell the home for less than the owner’s mortgage commitment. The bank has to basically take current market value and release the owner of any further financial responsibility. By not showcasing the home to as many potential buyers the sellers are doing a disservice to themselves and quite possibly causing massive damage to their possibilities of selling their home and moving forward in their lives.

A potential solution to this issue that sellers aren’t willing to do as well is to take as many photos of the home as possible. The Multiple Listing system, or MLS as it’s known in real estate, will accommodate up to 25 photographs and a virtual tour. These are great tools and are a great asset to sellers because if done properly it can draw vast amounts of attention resulting in large amounts of traffic that could bring multiple offers on their property. Wouldn’t you rather have your pick of offers than settling for just one?

The bottom line is that no buyer is going to buy something they can’t see. No person in their right mind would do such a thing with any product they’re considering buying especially a home. I know that sellers would be more upset if they accepted an offer, took the home of the market and then have the buyer walk away from the sale because it wasn’t to their liking. So having said this, may we come in?

Comments (3)

Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Krista -- your clients want to see the inside of the house before they will consider making an offer?  How callous is that?  ;-)

Did you consider that they may be trying some kind of modification and they have to show they didn't get any offers on the house on the open market at that level to prove the lower value needed for the modification (not that any bank would require such a thing.)

Obviously they don't really want to sell the house and you won't be showing it.  Hopefully, you found a much better house for your clients.

Have a fantastic weekend!



Oct 14, 2011 08:48 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Hi Krista, I have sold one house sight unseen but that was because the buyers were on the other side of the country. Mom was here to walk through with me and I described every little scratch on the wall I saw and took my pictures on top of what was shown in the MLS.

It just doesn't make sense why they would not allow access? It raises a red flag right from the start - what are they hiding? I just blogged about an appointment I was trying to make and it got denied because I was 10 minutes past their 24 hour showing notice! Why in the world would anyone do this? It is just beyond my comprehension.

Oct 14, 2011 09:20 AM
Amy Robinson
London Pierce Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Realtor, Scottsdale Arizona Homes For Sale

Hi Krista!  WOW it just seems so crazy anyone would do this.  Why take the time to list the house at all?  I am sure after some time they will realize it is a huge pain.  Great blog : )

Oct 14, 2011 01:56 PM