Is Feedback Really Beneficial?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Franklin Homes Realty LLC

Last week, I had a new listing come on the market. This home was built in 1992 and had not been updated. It had the original cabinets and countertops and in some cases, flooring and appliances. I had discussed the possibility of making some changes to the property just to sell but the homeowners were of the mind to price it right and just sell it in its current dated condition.

The home was clean and well-maintained. In addition, it sat on a very coveted one-acre lot in Franklin TN. We priced it at $425K for 2,630 square feet, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths. 

We brought the house on the market on a Saturday morning;  something I don't usually like to do. Agents here might not respond to new listings for a couple of days and I was afraid we'd missed an opportunity to get showings that first weekend. As a result, I hadn't adequately prepared the sellers for what happened next.

Is Feedback Really Beneficial?The showings began immediately that morning and put the sellers out of their house for the entire day. We saw much of the same for the next three days. The sellers were exhausted and so was I as I personally showed the house four times to interested buyers.

I had advised the sellers that the best feedback was an offer and not to expect much response to my feedback requests. While we only received a 25% feedback response rate to our showings, the responses were as varied as the buyers who probably viewed the property.

The majority of the agents who responded were very positive about the property and the price. Their buyers were interested but not at a point yet where they could make an offer (had a home to sell). However, we did get a couple of agents who said the property needed updates and was overpriced, which I thought was interesting because it was priced much lower than comparable properties that had sold in the neighborhood two months earlier. Properties that did not have updates.

As I said, the best feedback is an offer and we did, in fact, receive several of those as well. The sellers are happily under contract with continued interest every day.

All of this to say, is feedback really beneficial?

I had done my research on this neighborhood. I know the surrounding area quite well and review market data every month. When we priced this house, I felt very confident in our pricing, even though, the house was in need of updates.

Many agents here say the market has shifted slightly because they've seen a drop in their showings. But that's not what the market data suggests. The data shows that 33% of new listings that have come on the market since October 1 went under contract in the first 14 days. That tells me if a home is priced right, it will sell.

To get back to the feedback. Unfortunately, we assume that the agents who show our properties know what they are doing and are familiar with the local housing market. That just isn't true. Let me share with you some of the calls and questions I received about this home.

Is Feedback Really Beneficial?One agent called to ask if the vacant lot next door was for sale? What vacant lot? There is no vacant lot. The seller owns an acre and so does his neighbors. There's a plat of the property online in the MLS and I referred her to that. As it turns out, she had just gotten her license that week and she didn't know how to access online documents or the tax record. Is this agent qualified to provide me with meaningful feedback?

Another agent called asking if the house was on city water. I, once again, referred her to the MLS and said that it was on city water but had a septic system. She didn't know how that was possible. She argued that it couldn't be both. Either it was on city water with city sewer or septic with a well. I told her she was mistaken. Where the water originates and where it ends up are two separate things. This agent wasn't familiar with the product she was showing.

Two other agents stated the house was overpriced and suggested it would take awhile to sell. I'm sure they were surprised to see the house go under contract in the first four days. I can't wait until this house closes and they see what we actually got. Remember, we received multiple offers on this one.

I can only think of one reason why agents want feedback. They aren't confident in their pricing and they want other agents to help them get the sellers to a more realistic price. Instead what agents should do is ask themselves, "How well do I know this product? Is my knowledge base adequate enough to accurately recommend a price to the sellers?"

In the case of this property, I found not all agents know the market as well as they should. They do a great disservice to their buyers when they show properties they don't know the first thing about or how they should be priced. And a bigger disservice to the sellers when they provide feedback on homes in a market they don't know.

This experience has really turned me off to soliciting feedback at all. I do it because the sellers have an expectation that I'll provide feedback but I'm seriously considering discontinuing this practice.

What are your thoughts? Is feedback really beneficial?

Posted by
Tammie White, Managing Broker/Owner
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, SFR
Franklin Homes Realty LLC
Franklin, TN
(615) 495-0752 
GET REAL. GET LOCAL.
 
This posting with the content written here and photographs displayed are the intellectual property and opinions of Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC. Any party who uses this material without the written permission of Tammie White is subject to copyright infringement and possible lawsuit.
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Rainmaker
3,053,996
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Sellers are anxious for feedback... I do everything I can to get them feedback. And often the feedback is what gets a seller to do something they've resisted doing when I first suggested to make their house more sellable or to lower a price.

Oct 30, 2017 05:09 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,795,993
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Tammie White ,

I'm confident in my pricing and presentation of a home but many sellers who spend a lot of time getting ready and leaving their home for a showing would like to hear something for their efforts. Even though I prep sellers to understand the feedback is generally coming from a buyers agent..they still want to hear something! I will still request feedback and always give feedback when showing thus I end up with agents returning the favor when I request comments.

Oct 30, 2017 05:11 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,053,738
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good morning Tammie White 

Thank you for sharing your information with us.

Hope you have a great day. 10/30/2017.

Oct 30, 2017 05:37 AM #3
Rainmaker
576,879
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE - Mississauga, ON
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Nina Hollander said it best.  If action is required by the Seller, they don't often listen to their agent, but when feedback comes from perspective buyers/agents with their view and impressions as they see the home, it validates what I have been telling them and prompts them to take the required action.  I always try to get feedback for my clients... because they always ask for it and they want it. 

Oct 30, 2017 05:39 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,980,831
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Honest feedback can help a lot, but much to often the agents are not honest wth it.

Oct 30, 2017 05:55 AM #5
Rainmaker
3,573,647
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tammie. I tend to agree with you. The only feedback that matters is an offer. Moreover, I always felt that if I didn't know the house better than any other agent then the sellers hired the wrong person.

Oct 30, 2017 08:01 AM #6
Ambassador
3,084,364
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Feedback is not terribly valuable in my line of thinking either.  I agree that the best feedback is an offer.

Oct 30, 2017 08:44 AM #7
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Tammie - I agree with you (although Mary is on the other side of this argument : ) Not counting offers, we rarely get any useful feedback from showings - we already know and understand a property's strength's and weaknesses and have discussed them at length with the sellers.

Featured in BananaTude!

'Tude!

Oct 30, 2017 10:03 AM #8
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Tammie I have long thought feedback was pretty much worthless. As the listing agent I know the home, the comps and the neighborhood. Some Sellers want 'feedback' but most of ours know that it doesn't mean much. Price it right, market it right and it will sell - and they do quickly in my neck of the woods.

Oct 31, 2017 01:27 PM #9
Rainmaker
457,394
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Hello Tammie White ... Every showing is an opportunity to have a conversation with my sellers (once the feedback comes in or if it doesn't).  It's a constant update and educating of the sellers about what the market is doing, and how my experitise can be relied on.

Oct 31, 2017 06:25 PM #11
Rainmaker
41,046
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

Very interesting article Tammie. I always provide feedback on my showings, and if I'm in a neighborhood I am less familiar with, I will run comps before I leave feedback. My reputation is on the line too.

On the other hand, clients do like feedback and sometimes their feedback helps get the attention of the seller when something needs addressing like traffic flow of a home or its dated. More than once, they have shown the seller their price is a little high. 

I am surprised by the strength of home sales this fall. I saw a decline beginning at the end of July, but now homes are moving rather quickly and inventory is dropping again.

 

Oct 31, 2017 08:14 PM #12
Rainer
494,708
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Tammie,

An offer is definitely the best feedback. The rest is interesting, but has more to do with the particular buyers everyone is working with rather than that property. I too have had folks, who needed to fit two pianos side by side & not all living rooms let you do that.

Oct 31, 2017 08:21 PM #13
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Tammie

I find feedback is a mixed bag. Sometimes it's helpful, but so often it seems it's just a way for the agent to provide some justification for the buyer not moving forward, or the house shouldn't have been shown in the first place - they want single story, or they want 4 bedrooms, not 3! I try to get feedback and share it but it's tough. And seller responses are mixed as well.

Jeff

Oct 31, 2017 10:39 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,530,045
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I think it's a bit scary that there are so many agents working who don't have a clue about the market or about what they're doing.

Oct 31, 2017 10:43 PM #15
Rainmaker
401,223
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

A thought provoking post. I have noticed in the last few months that many of the offers I have received would not be considered good feedback. Even though we are low on inventory offers are coming in far below list. I hope these agents follow the listing to see that when we close we are about $20,000 above their offer.

Nov 01, 2017 05:40 AM #16
Rainer
475,289
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Feedback could be useful whether it's solicited or unsolicited, however, if the property is marketed accurately, the only feedback that matters is the offer to buy, isn't it? As you stated, BPO's are useless when the broker or agent's opinion isn't accurately derived from the facts regarding the property.

I personally don't solicit feedback from buyers or agents, yet, that doesn't stop them from expressing their feedback and many times their feedback is nonsensical. So, "what feature about this property is most important to you" isn't a feedback question from a salesperson but a marketing question that leads to other marketing questions and ultimately to closing questions. Great post.

Nov 01, 2017 05:57 AM #17
Rainmaker
577,868
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

It can be helpful when you have a resistant seller, but you hit the nail on the head with the statement of "the best feedback is an offer". And you got FOUR! Congratulations!

Nov 01, 2017 08:20 AM #19
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Tammie- speaking as a former seller, I know that I've been curious about feedback too. But my husband (retired builder) always says that if a house isn't selling, it's not priced right. 

I do think the request for feedback is a lot like us asking our friends or spouses "Do you like my new hairstyle?" or "How do I look?" There's a certain insecurity that comes from laying your home open for the world to see. 

Nov 01, 2017 09:51 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,513,477
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Unfortunately I think feedback only works when it serves to support my position -lower the price, de-clutter, paint, etc!  The most useless feedback is the "shows well, thanks."  "Looks good, not interested."  "Priced right, still looking!"

Nov 09, 2017 07:12 AM #21
Rainmaker
2,751,138
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

How much heard somebody say that everybody is entitled to an opinion, but some just hold more weight than others. I think they said in another way

Jan 20, 2018 11:01 PM #22
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