Feedback: Careful What You Take From It

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Feedback:  Careful What You Take From It

Reading a post by Scott Godzyk today talking about when an offer isn't an offer, there seemed to be a misread on the part of the For Sale By Owner seller who thought feedback was the beginning of an offer.  If a buyer said, "We would buy the house if it were painted," well...the sellers painted.  The seller did a lot of things as a result of the "We would buy the house if..." statements. 

Those statements are what we Listing Agents call feedback.  Our sellers want to know what buyers thought of the home as soon as they leave.  So it falls upon us as Listing Agents to call and get feedback.  It's been rare in a decade of selling houses that a Buyer's Agent has pointed out something that I had not already pointed out to a seller at the listing appointment.  Still feedback has some limited value.  If someone tells you a home shows dark, maybe it's time to paint, or to stage with some lights.

You can't take feedback as the end all, be all of why someone didn't buy the house.  Sometimes buyers don't even know why a home isn't working for them.  A good Buyer's Agent truly tuned in to their buyers will know it before the buyers themselves.  Heck, I've been out with some buyers that really like homes.  The Listing Agent calls and asks what my buyer thought and I tell them, "They loved it."  Of course, that doesn't mean they are going to make an offer either.  I've seen plenty of buyers love a home, but not want to live in it.

The ultimate feedback is repeated comments about particular, specific issues.  Or the ultimate unspoken feedback of plenty of buyers through and no offer.  The latter is the market screaming, "Lower your price!"  

It wasn't that long ago that I was the second agent into a listing and going over comparable sales with the sellers.  Their home had been listed for six months and they swore, "No one ever said anything bad about our price."  Then we went through each and every home that had gone under contract in their neighborhood, that was larger and listed for less, while they were on the market.  The conclusion was, the buyers didn't have to comment on price. The market was speaking loud and clear if they were wiling to listen.  Low and behold, that made sense to these sellers.  As much as they hated to lower the price, they did when I took over the listing and got the activity they had been lacking before.  

So when you are selling your home, careful how much stock you put in feedback from agents and buyers.  Your Listing Agent will have provided the pointers for getting your home ready to list.  And the market is always in the background speaking loud and clear.


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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

And the ultimate feedback is - and offer or no offer. I'm sure it can be helpful to agents when other agents reinforce what they've already been telling the seller. 

Nov 30, 2015 07:07 AM #18
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

When sellers ask for feedback and why an agent won't call or give any feedback. I remind them that they are not obligated, but the message is still loud and clear. NO offer means that the house did not sell.

Nov 30, 2015 08:08 AM #19
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Love the no comment needed, the market was speaking loud and clear.  Course, someone has to listen to right?

Nov 30, 2015 08:14 AM #20
Theresa Akin

When I show a property and relay feedback to the listing agent, I usually include what buyers think of the price. But I also show buyers the comps before looking.

Nov 30, 2015 08:39 AM #21
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

So true. Feedback is good, but only if you are really listening to what the meaning is. 

Nov 30, 2015 08:59 AM #22
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Chris Ann, I don't expect feedback nor do I take them seriously. Sellers should already know why the house is not selling and make some changes. 

Nov 30, 2015 09:47 AM #23
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Very very true!  I appreciate your post!  No feedback -- says it all.

Nov 30, 2015 10:34 AM #24
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think many will be more frank about structual and condition issues, but price is touchy and often they will not say anything.

Nov 30, 2015 11:13 AM #25
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

And there is always the possibility that "feedback" is being used to beat down a property before writing an offer.

Nov 30, 2015 11:49 AM #26
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Feedback is meaningless because a professional will already know the obstacles to a sale and should have conveyed that information to the seller to fix prior to listing the property. Great post.

Nov 30, 2015 01:44 PM #27
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Chris Ann Cleland  - most of the times we know, as a listing agent, what is the reason why house sits on market for longer than average days on market!

And yes, feedback is what we should ask for - as a listing agent. However, I have seen buyers agent almost ignoring to give feedback most of the time!

Nov 30, 2015 03:01 PM #28
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Constructive feedback based on buyer comments and Realtor opinion are always welcome and helpful to the process.

Nov 30, 2015 03:44 PM #29
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing:

So when you are selling your home, careful how much stock you put in feedback from agents and buyers.  Listing Agents have provided the pointers for getting your home ready to list.  And the market is always in the background speaking loud and clear.

Nov 30, 2015 07:54 PM #30
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Well done Chris. As you point out, opinions may or may not support facts. Had a listing recently that had a very short backyard with just a view of trees. That's why the seller bought it and saw it as a big plus. Unfortunately, today's buyers in our area are attracted by golf course and water views. Finding that woodsy buyer presented a real challenge!

Nov 30, 2015 11:29 PM #31
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Chris Ann -- many buyers simply don't know the reason why a house is "wrong" for them, the goal of every seller and listing agent should be to find more of the positive features to highlight so a successful sale can occur.  

Nov 30, 2015 11:39 PM #32
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Chris Ann, There are many reasons why buyers will offer on one home and not another. Sometimes it's just a "feeling" they get. You are spot on about hiring a listing agent that can advise sellers on what needs to be done to get the home sold. Looking at the "data" and "analyzing" the data, knowing the market ... bring clarity to necessary price adjustments.

Dec 01, 2015 12:07 AM #33
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Chris Ann

The virtues of a great listing agent speak volumes in getting results. All the huffers and puffers out there take heed. You do you clients and you a great disservice in consulting them to list too high. Time will come back to bite you. Great article, cheers cvc

Dec 01, 2015 07:08 AM #34
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post Chris Ann!  Perfect example of better communication and the best methods to help get homes sold!

Dec 01, 2015 07:57 AM #35
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Chris Ann, feedback is a tricky thing.  I think the best feedback to get is a written offer. 

Dec 01, 2015 11:45 PM #37
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Chris Ann,

That seller could be painting their home twice a week, depending on the taste of the potential buyers, who come through. That is, if there are that many. Marketing yourself can be an eye-opening experience.

Dec 02, 2015 07:48 AM #38
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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