Don't Dance Around It - Give Real Feedback

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

As of this month, I have been selling homes full-time here in Austin, Texas for 17 years. I've sold hundreds of homes, both as a listing agent and as a buyer's agent. There are times when I have shown 12-15 homes in a single day, sometimes for several days in a row. On those days, I am swamped with calls and emails from listing agents who want feedback from the showings. 

 

When they call me, I give real feedback.

"It's badly overpriced."

"The floor is sloping in the dining room, and the buyers were concerned that there might be a structural issue."

"The wallpaper hasn't been replaced since the Kennedy administration."

 

And just yesterday, I texted this in response to a request (transcribed verbatim here):

"Overall, it's a nice house, but it was too much cosmetic work for their taste. They felt like they would have to redo the kitchen, and remove the carpet upstairs (allergies). We couldn't see the upstairs bathroom at all, which was okay. The front bedroom closet door needs to be reattached (I thought it was a normal door, then it fell on my head). There is also a big piece of missing trim in that room near the hall."

When I was looking at the house, the buyers and I all wondered why they didn't just wait to put it on the market until after the work was completed. In addition to the above, the microwave was missing temporarily, and they were working on tile work in the bathroom, and planning to replace the back door and trim. The agent admitted that he should have held off before going "active".

At any rate, I don't really pull any punches when I am asked for my input. I will willingly share the truth, even in its unvarnished form. I don't think I'm doing them any favors by saying stuff like, "It just didn't work for my buyers."

If it needs work, I say so.

Price reduction will help? I will let them know.

I expect other agents to do the same for me for my listings. 

Thanks for reading!

 

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9979792@N04/

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Rainmaker
565,460
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Great post Jason!  I try to give feedback whenever possible.  Not always possible.

Thank you for another awesome post and best of GREAT success to you in 2014!

Jan 15, 2014 07:44 PM #9
Rainmaker
565,460
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Great post Jason!  I try to give feedback whenever possible.  Not always possible.

Thank you for another awesome post and best of GREAT success to you in 2014!

Jan 15, 2014 07:44 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,509,760
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I wonder if sometimes it is the agent who rushes to put homes on the market while reassuring the seller they can fix it as they go...

Jan 15, 2014 09:50 PM #11
Rainmaker
3,080,649
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Good for you...what good is feedback if it is only what you think they want to hear?

Jan 15, 2014 11:10 PM #12
Ambassador
1,877,510
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Direct honest feedback sells homes if acted upon. If you pull punches it is not helpful. They are just facts, not malice toward the homeowner, then again this is a people business so many people don't like to hear the truth and view their home as a product rather than dinging their lifestyle.

Jan 15, 2014 11:28 PM #13
Ambassador
779,288
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Many agents want "sunshine" not honest feedback. I tell it like it is. Want to debate me or talk me down? Don't expect any feedback in the future.

Jan 15, 2014 11:40 PM #14
Rainmaker
441,513
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Honest feedback helps us. When I tell my sellers that certain issues will present problems, but they don't address those issues, honest feedback helps to underscore the importance of fixing those items.

Jan 16, 2014 01:37 AM #15
Rainmaker
592,907
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX

This is a sad posting!

About two years ago there were a gaggle of such articles there authors fearing litigation from such feedback.

As I said it’s sad that people are afraid to tell the truth about facts and their opinions! Professionals are hired for their opinions, professional opinions they should not fear verblesing them when ask or out of professional courtesy!

Maybe the problem is many don’t know the difference between professional opinions and malicious gossip.

Your’s is the attitude professionals deserve and fiduciaries are entitled to.

Bill

PS: 12 to 15 homes in a day, I hope you at least slowed down enough so your buyer knew witch house you were talking about.

Jan 16, 2014 02:43 AM #16
Ambassador
1,242,986
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

JORDON - Thank you, sir!

GARY WATERS - That was certainly the case with the listing I mentioned in this post. 

KRISTIN - That has been my opinion for many years now.

GARY WOLTAL - That's a terrific summary.  :)

DOUG - That's a great additional point. If you ask for my opinion, and I give it to you, don't argue with me. 

ROSE - Agreed.

BILL - Thanks very much. I agree wholeheartedly. With the 12-15 houses per day, those are extreme cases with buyers who are very motivated to find a house quickly. We even break for lunch.  :)

Jan 16, 2014 02:54 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,248,513
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Jason:

This is a great post. suggested. Much needed. Thanks for sharing. 

Jan 16, 2014 03:47 AM #18
Ambassador
3,674,552
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jason, like you, I tell the truth when someone requests feedback.  It gets funny when the listing agent starts to argue with me!

Jan 16, 2014 12:03 PM #19
Rainer
110,920
Pam Sitterly
RE/MAX VINTAGE - Magnolia, TX
CRS Magnolia-Tomball Texas

I aggressively seek feedback for my sellers. We use what we can and disregard the rest.

Jan 16, 2014 09:50 PM #20
Rainer
51,155
Michele Webler -Farm and Ranch Specialist
Idaho Real Homes LLC - Rathdrum, ID
Serving North Idaho and E. Wa

Jason, I totally agree with you.  I always tell them the truth.  If they don't want to hear it they shouldn't ask.  I think that the delivery to the seller is the most important and I always prep my sellers that they may receive some negative comments.  But if there is something bothering potential buyers we are better off to know about it and try to do something about it.  Honesty is a great tool.  I wish all agents would deliver it.  And try to prep those sellers for things that buyers will see as a negative.  Its not to beat the house up its to keep it competitive.

Jan 17, 2014 12:42 PM #21
Rainmaker
171,240
Kelly McGovern
Realty Concierge International - Bellingham, MA
Working with Kelly is a good move

I try my best to be as brutally honest with my feedback as I can.  Great suggestions here!  We all wish every agent that showed our listings would give constructive feedback.  Some don't have the courtesy to leave any!  They must not have listings to realize how important feedback is?  I'm unsure as to why there are some multiple offenders!

Jan 18, 2014 01:20 AM #22
Rainmaker
3,271,481
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Jason --when asked for feedback, I'll provide it and I can be brutally honest when need be especially if my buyer has no interest.  When there may be interest my feedback may be in the form of questions or additional information needed.   I personally don't solicit feedback from showing agents as I believe the best feedback is an offer presented in writing.  

Jan 21, 2014 09:01 AM #23
Rainmaker
797,509
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I also tell the truth when someone asks for feedback. Sometimes it even helps the listing agent when they can show all the comments from buyer's agents. If 10 out of 10 buyer agents said the carpet has stains, smelled, and needed to be replaced, the listing agent can present that to the home seller and either get the carpet replaced, or provide a carpet allowance at the very least.

Feb 03, 2014 09:16 AM #24
Rainmaker
272,182
Paula McDaniel
The Paula McDaniel Group with Real Estate Partners Chattanooga LLC - Chattanooga, TN
Voted Best of the Best Chattanooga Realtor 9 Years

We spend so much time each week asking for additional feedback. I really wish that agents would spend 30 seconds being descriptive about the pros and cons of the home. 

Feb 25, 2014 01:41 AM #25
Ambassador
1,623,633
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

We have a wonderful system in Oklahoma City that when we electronically set up a showing it will send to your email account a feedback request. I will always reply and give both of my buyers feedback as well as how I see it as a REALTOR®. Many times when i read feedback i know it is the REALTOR® and the listing agent should know what a real buyer believes.

Mar 02, 2014 07:23 AM #26
Rainer
16,330
Wesley Hassell
Keller Williams Arizona Living Realty - Kingman, AZ
"Less Hassle with Wes Hassell"

I've found that the old saying, "honesty is the best policy" has always worked for me. When I have a seller who won't budge on his price, I always share the feedback from the showings...and it seems to work almost all the time. Thanks for sharing.

Apr 07, 2014 03:21 AM #27
Rainmaker
60,400
Stacey Williams
Alpharetta, GA
Experienced Metro Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Jason, Feedback is important if you really want to gauge what others perceive about your listing. I share the feedback I receive with my sellers. They mostly appreciate it.

May 12, 2014 03:43 AM #28
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