I suited up this morning and went to a few open houses that were being sold by owner. Two of them posed an interesting study of contrasts.
At the first, the owner was warm and welcoming. He was dressed professionally in dress slacks and shirt. Inside his home, I was greeted by a counter of warm cookies (yes, the wonderful smell was present), coffee, cups, plates and napkins.
We sat down together and he allowed me to do my informal sales pitch for listing his home. One of my options appealed to him, we exchanged cards and we agreed to reconnect. It was easy and pleasant, leaving me with a good impression - even if I never hear from him again.
At the next open house, the owner's father was sitting in the front driveway in a camping chair. He was wearing blue jeans and a rumpled t-shirt. When I introduced myself as a Realtor, he said he was there to keep his daughter away from Realtors. He did however, add that he'd welcome a buyer and compensate me.
Inside, the home was empty, in old condition, and offered no place to sit down, nor any refreshments. Upon my way out, I handed him the market comparables I had prepared, and said I'd like to leave this with him. He declined to take the packet.
I drove off thinking about how needlessly unpleasant this man was. Even though I sell the neighborhood, I would never bring a buyer to him because he was so antagonistic.
I understand that many for-sale-by-owners want nothing to do with Realtors. Yet, the vast majority of home buyers come with Realtors. When you are unpleasant to an agent, you may just be shooting yourself in the foot and losing some business.
If you are selling your home by owner, I encourage you to be polite with those agents you come across. I know that some Realtors will come on too strong, and can even be aggressive as they push for your listing. But please, remember that we are people too. The more you engage, and even tolerate us, the more likely you are to sell your own home.