Why Won't the Agent Just Meet Me at the House I Want to See?
I think that as a profession, we can tend to not explain the "whys" of our business practices. So I would like to talk about why I cannot just show you the property that you are sitting in front of right this minute.
I received a Zillow call over the weekend and this person was sitting in front of the house and was demanding to see it right now, like yesterday. Very impatient and demanding does not go over to well, in case you are taking notes. We really don't sit and wait for the phone to ring. And also, as in this case, the home that you are calling about is NOT my listing or my company's.
Here are several reasons that an agent may not be able to just get in the car and show it to you at the drop of a hat.
1. If the house is lived in, we need to have the owner's permission to enter the property. There is usually a 2 hour or more notice to show it to a buyer. If it is a rental property, Iowa law requires a 24 hour notice for tenants' rights. Also, it may already be under contract and not yet posted to the MLS as no longer available for showings.
2. If the home appears to be vacant, we still cannot just enter the property. Depending on the type of property, it may be a foreclosure listing that has a combination lockbox. We will need to call and confirm that the property is still available and request access from the listing broker. If it is on the weekend, we may not hear back from the agent immediately. Also, if the property has mold or other issues, there may be a hold harmless that is required to be signed and sent to the agent prior to receiving the access code to show it.
3. Safety. REALTOR safety is very important. If you are calling someone that you don't know to show you a home that is not lived in, you are likely to be asked to come to the office to meet with the agent first. There have been many recent events that have spurred companies and agents to take on this practice of copying your drivers license at the office prior to showing you any properties.
4. Pre-approval or proof of cash is required prior to showing many properties, this is a business practice of many agents. If you have not been to a lender, the mortgage industry has changed. A lot. As to not waste your time, the seller's time, and the agent's time, it is best to have a lender tell you what you can afford so that you don't fall in love with a home that you cannot purchase.
So you can see, we are not trying to be difficult. We are protecting ourselves, your time, and the seller's expectations by being sure that you are qualified to buy the home that you wish to view. The next time that you call to request a showing, understand that it may take time to get that arranged, you may need to plan to meet the agent at their office or a public place first, and you may be required to provide a lender pre-approval letter or proof of funds. We have become a world where instant gratification makes it difficult to wait. I get it. But there is a reason that we have a process when you purchase a home.
For a FREE buyer consultation, please contact me to schedule an appointment. And yes, I will have you meet me at the office first!