Showing Homes To Unqualified Buyers

Real Estate Agent with Chartwell Kansas City Realty SP00229578 2007027091

Do you show unqualified buyers into houses listed for sale?

One of the 'real estate gurus' called me today to personally answer some questions I'd asked in an email response to his offer of a new and exciting real estate site. (You know how I like to learn about anything new.)

The guru told a story of an agent using his site to sell a house to a buyer she'd never met until they went to look at the house. Okay. I ignored the safety issues, instead asking how the agent had qualified the buyer before showing the house. He replied "Oh, you're one of those. See, this is a different way of treating customers; you treat everyone like they're a five star buyer until they prove they're not instead of asking them to prove they're legitimate buyers up front." house in kansas city 

What's wrong with showing unqualified buyers into homes?

1. The sellers don't want unqualified buyers traipsing through their home. Sellers expect us to bring them people who are able to purchase their home.

2. Sellers have to leave the house during showings. This is, at times, an inconvenience they are willing to incur because someone may buy their house. No way do any sellers I know want to accommodate anyone who cannot buy their home.

3. Agents are responsible for the house while they are showing it. How can I, in good conscience, unlock the house and allow just anyone in? How do I know they are who they say they are? - Ever heard of houses for sale being targeted for robberies and burglaries?

4. Buyer clients deserve better. The guru is looking at everyone as a customer with a pocketbook; I work diligently for my clients. Buyer clients deserve a well organized showing trip focusing on homes that will meet their specific needs. 

5. Buyers who can afford a $300,000 house will probably just love the $600,000 house down the street but then what? They fall in love with a house they cannot afford and then are disappointed with every house in their price range. How helpful is that?

Now, I realize that there are exceptions to every rule but, yes, I am 'one of those.' Sellers expect and deserve real estate agents to show qualified buyers into their home. Buyers deserve an agent who will take the time to find out who they are and what they need in a home before wasting their time showing them homes that won't work for them.

And agents should be smart enought to know that it's not safe to meet strangers at an empty house. Have you read the news lately?

What say you?


Maria Morton, Senior Real Estate Specialist, TRUSTED REALTOR  ♫ ♪  Contact Maria Morton Kansas City Realtor   
Leading Edge Society 2010  .mobile:816-560-3758 .
Search ALL MLS homes for sale      KANSAS CITY AREA SCHOOL INFO MO & KS  Professionals helping Seniors ♫ ♪ Neighborhoods in Kansas City ♫  Historic Homes of Kansas City  ♪ 2011 Market Reports Brookside, Waldo, Sunset Hill . ...*Information obtained from Heartland MLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. **This is an eclectic blog combining a little business with pleasure; please consult a licensed  professional before making life altering decisions. ♪♫   .   Maria Morton, Realtor©, SRES is a Kansas City Real Estate Agent licensed in MO & KS and affiliated with Prudential Kansas City Realty 816.410.5499.o Maria Morton Copyright © 2012 *Showing Homes to Unqualified Buyers*
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Jim Patton
Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816 - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.

Maria - I am "one of those" too.  You spelled it out perfectly, nothing for me to add.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 08, 2012 12:54 PM #1
Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA
What I say is that you have said this just perfectly!!
Feb 08, 2012 01:01 PM #2
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Maria: One of the first things I learned in my entry years in real estate was"How to 'qualify' a buyer". This was the most important rule of the business at that time for me because it taught me how to avoid "time wasters", one of which is the unqualified buyer!!!

Now, I hear horror stories because the management teams in most offices today do not even teach the techniques you must use to identify the person you are responsible for taking into a vulnerable property!...another low blow to this profession! Do you relaize how this makes us ALL look? We have to be the polished professionals that  the public expects us to be. QUALIFYING BUYERS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE DO---Otherwise, who needs us???

Feb 08, 2012 01:03 PM #3
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Maria - BRAVO!!!  For what's it's worth, I'm "one of those" too!  Not being "one of those" is just stupid and irresponsible.

Feb 08, 2012 01:06 PM #4
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Thanks, Jim and Nancy.

Paula, I'm sorry to hear that so many offices are not properly training their associates.

Feb 08, 2012 01:11 PM #5
Christine McDaniel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Porter Co. - Crown Point, IN
Broker Associate

Maria, It is better to have the serious buyers.  It's a tough market and you have to be more focused on the buyers that will get preapproved before shopping.

Feb 08, 2012 01:12 PM #6
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

This is an awesome article!  Suggested!

Feb 08, 2012 01:12 PM #7
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Well said, Maria!

   No Pre-Approval Letter or Proof of Funds Letter = No Showing.

Feb 08, 2012 01:27 PM #8
Jessica Holtzman
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. - Moorestown, NJ
Real Estate Agent in Southern New Jersey, CDPE

I just wrote a blog about this too!  I have never taken someone out w/o the pre-approval.  I am trying to start bringing them into the office now too... just to gain confidence on the commitment level

Feb 08, 2012 01:34 PM #9
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Maria, it looks like you are in good company with the rest of "those" agents.  Very nice article.

Feb 08, 2012 02:16 PM #10
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Maria, I had my 3.5MM buyers get qualified right away, now when making offers they stand ahead of the pack,

Feb 08, 2012 02:29 PM #11
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

It's been quite a few years now since I left real estate sales - and the town where I live is always 5 or 10 years behind the times. So...

Back then, nobody qualified anybody. They wanted to see a house, we showed them a house. There was just ONE agent in a community comprised of two small towns who insisted on pre-qualifying her buyer before she showed them anything. The other agents laughed at her.

Interstingly, she's also the agent who eventually went to prison for murdering her son-in-law, but I doubt that had anything to do with anything.

Anyway... I think if pre-qualification had been the accepted practice back then, a whole lot of us would have been more productive - simply because we wouldn't have been wasting our time with "buyers" who couldn't buy.

Hmmm... I should get in touch with some current agent and find out if things have changed. We just might still be operating in the 90's mode.

Feb 08, 2012 02:41 PM #12
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Maria, what I want to know is why isn't this post featured yet.  I want to be as helpful as possible to my clients and one of the best things I can do for them is show them the importance of getting prequalified.

Feb 08, 2012 02:52 PM #13
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Marte, what town was that? BTW, I don't look at the time spent with people who aren't yet able to buy as wasted time. While I'm not showing them into houses, I will sit down with them, show them how the process works, direct them on how to become qualified, and look at a few houses on the computer so that they know how to use the software I give them and understand what we'll be looking at when they are ready to buy. 

Feb 08, 2012 02:53 PM #14
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Hi Nick! Yes, helping buyers get prequalified or preapproved with a reputable lender is one of the best things we can do to help them begin. Does anyone remember how scary that was the first time? Imagine if you had had someone to explain and help you through that!

Feb 08, 2012 03:19 PM #15
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Maria -- great article about this important topic.  How can you show them appropriate houses if you don't know what they can afford?  Even the HGTV shows about hunting for houses have the potential buyers pre-qualified, and keep them from seeing houses too far outside their price point.

Feb 13, 2012 09:28 AM #16
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Maria, when you first get your real license, you could use some experience, but after years in the business, not good business showing before they are qualified!   

Feb 16, 2012 03:54 AM #17
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