How to Avoid Showing Buyers an Endless Number of Homes

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Gina McKinley offers a wise list for cutting down the number of homes you need to show before a buyer can make a decision.

I especially like her "don't want" list.

Original content by Gina McKinley

When was the last time you showed buyers what felt like an endless number of homes?  Showing property after property to indecisive buyers consumes a huge amount of time and energy.


The key to avoiding this nightmare scenario is helping buyers pinpoint exactly what they want before showing them homes.  Here’s a four-step process for doing just that.


Step #1: Set Expectations


Many buyers don’t understand the buying process.  They might feel they’re supposed to see as many homes as possible.  Or, they might not understand seeing tons of homes makes choosing one more difficult.


When you first meet with your buyers, set expectations about the buying process.  Explain how your job is to help them narrow their criteria so they don’t waste time viewing homes that won’t work for them.


Step #2: Ask What They Don’t Want


Buyers are often terrible at knowing what they want (especially first-timers).  But, they’re excellent at knowing what they don’t want.


After you’ve had the expectations conversation from step #1, ask your buyers what they don’t want in the neighborhood, home, lot, etc.  Take detailed notes and ask follow-up questions as necessary.


You’ll be surprised how much you learn about your buyers’ preferences when they tell you everything they don’t want.


Step #3: Review Listings With Them


Most agents send listings via email and never take the time to review those listings with the buyers either in-person or by phone.


Once you run your initial MLS search, schedule time with the buyers to talk through the listings.  Ask them the things they like and don’t like about what they see in the pictures, comments, and property details.


This step is critical because it either confirms or denies the information you gathered in step #2.  Only when buyers are looking at actual listings do you get the full picture of their preferences.


Step #4: Invest 5 Minutes


One of the reasons agents get stuck showing too many properties is they don’t invest five minutes to eyeball listings before scheduling showings.


In step #3, you reviewed the initial MLS search results with your buyers.  But, if you run a new search or set up an automated search, you might not have the chance to review the listings before your buyers receive them.


The problem is, no MLS search can capture every buyer preference.  And, few buyers look at all the details of a listing before deciding whether to see it.


That’s why you want to invest five minutes eyeballing each listing your buyers want to see before setting up the showing.  In many cases, homes that appear perfect for the buyers at first blush will end up rejected upon closer inspection of the details and remarks.


P.S. – If the four steps above seem like a lot of work, consider how much time they could save you.  A showing on a home that doesn’t meet your buyers’ criteria wastes at least an hour of your time and frustrates your buyers.


P.P.S. - We are a top team in the South East Valley as ranked by Top Agents Magazine and RealTrends. We are currently hiring. The ideal Realtor® candidate is serious, motivated, and has integrity and drive. Please call us today!


Comments (9)

Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Marte - Good choice for a re-blog, as we just finally got a tough case under contract after showing him 55 homes - we did everything we could to narrow it down, but every once in a while, someone comes along who needs to look at everything. Nice guy and he's happy so it was worth it.

Jul 24, 2017 02:48 PM
Marte Cliff

Wow Dick Greenberg - 55 homes is a LOT. What does that equate to - about 80 hours spent with this buyer?

Jul 24, 2017 03:52 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Nice reblog Marte.  I have what I call the rolling top 3 homes and it's all explained how to do that before we start looking at homes. There are only 3 homes even being considered all the time - the rest don't cut the mustard.

Jul 24, 2017 02:54 PM
Marte Cliff

Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS What if none of the three suits them? You choose 3 more?

Jul 24, 2017 03:53 PM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

This is a great choice for a re-blog.  Narrowing down the search is always a good thing.

Jul 24, 2017 03:20 PM
Marte Cliff

I think so too, Belinda Spillman.

Jul 24, 2017 03:54 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Marte, great reblog, and our goal is to find the right home, but we sure hope we don't have to show every single home in their price range.

Jul 25, 2017 05:05 AM
Marte Cliff

Right Joan Cox - especially since some of those houses will definitely be unsuitable.

Jul 25, 2017 08:07 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Marte. What a great idea these four tips promise. Thanks for the re-blog.

Jul 25, 2017 06:26 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Sheila Anderson - I thought this one was well worth sharing.

Jul 25, 2017 08:08 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

This was an excellent blog choice for reblogging, Marte.  I seem to average 5 showings per client.  However, I once worked in an office where an agent worked nearly a year showing homes to a buyer, before selling them one.  She normally didn't do that.  But, she was persistent and patient with this one!

Jul 26, 2017 02:16 AM
Marte Cliff

Myrl Jeffcoat - I hope their eventual purchase resulted in a paycheck that was more than minimum wage!

Jul 26, 2017 07:53 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I really like this blog post and I'm glad you decided to share it with us once more Marte Cliff 

Jul 27, 2017 07:22 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Paul S. Henderson, CRS, REALTOR®, I thought it well worth sharing.

Jul 27, 2017 07:59 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I remember a story told by a real estate guru. A friend of his told him he wanted him to look for a house for him. And yes, he gave him all the information, told him which features were a must, and what location was a must, and what was a no-no, so the guru showed him quite a few homes, and none worked.

Then the buyer stopped for a while and suddenly the guru finds out that he cought the house. The funny part was that what he bought was exactly what he initially said he did not want.

he wanted a 3/2/2 and he bought a 2/1 with a carport. Different area, everything what he did not want.

And this is the problem when you are trying to squeeze from the buyers what they want. They do not know what would make their heart beat faster.

Jul 31, 2017 09:54 PM
Marte Cliff

That's true Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL - but I do remember feeling frustrated when I asked a buyer what they were looking for and they replied with "We'll know it when we see it."

They were being honest, but... where to start?

Aug 01, 2017 09:10 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!


This is a really good reblog Marte...I will share with others also.

Aug 02, 2017 07:46 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Ginger Harper - I thought it was worth sharing.

Aug 02, 2017 09:27 AM