How Not to Show the Wrong House
Showing the wrong house to a buyer wastes time for everyone. Knowing your buyer's parameters is very important.
When working with buyers, I have them make out a wish list. You can narrow down the showings when you know your buyer's preferences.
Research and Ask Questions!
When the buyer picks several houses to view, I go over each one BEFORE we go out. I research the MLS and question the listing agents if the description is vague. I let the buyers know what they have and do not have based on their wish list.
Often, houses are ruled out by this research...saving valuable time. If I see a property that seems right even though it does not fit their list, I may still tell them about it. They decide if this is one to be considered.
Making appointments helps me screen out and prevent these same issues on my listings.
Just yesterday, an agent called for an appointment and, when I called to confirm, described the house, letting him know it was a rancher without a basement. In seconds he was thanking me for saving him time. His buyers needed a lower level. There was no reason to show this one.
It is nice to talk to the agents and answer questions about the listing. Even though my description on the Multiple Listing Service is complete, there are a few issues that I can clear up while making appointments on my listings.
Over the years, I have had agents show my listings with the following points.
Yes, I've had all of these and more:
- The condo restricts pets, and they have a dog and a cat. No, you can't sneak them in.
- The prospective buyer is 93 years old, and the unit I have listed is on the top floor. There are no elevators.
- A condo with no balcony - is not a good match for someone with claustrophobia.
- A penthouse unit is a bad idea for someone afraid of heights.
- The buyer is a wheelchair user. Would you at least remind them it's a split-level house?
- The family wants all bedrooms on the same level. Are you sure you want to show this Cape Cod?
And a bit of missing Information:
- The buyers haven't put their home on the market yet because they want to wait until they find something they like but cannot purchase until their home sells. The seller will not take a contingency.
- The listing is a co-op requiring a cash-only purchase. There can be no mortgage. Surprise when the buyer asks if the monthly fee "includes the mortgage payment."
- High condo fees. The prospective buyer didn't ask before seeing the property (and his agent didn't tell, obviously). Then he asks if we can negotiate the fees down along with the price. Um...sure, right along with the property taxes.
- The buyer wants privacy and does not want to see other houses. There are homes on both sides because it is in development.
- The buyer wants a quiet street, and the home is on the beltway.
- The seller is building and needs a long settlement, but the buyer needs to move in 2 weeks.
- Fifty-five plus neighborhood buyers are a young couple with toddlers.
- There are stairs to get into the house, even though there is a first-floor bedroom.
You get the idea. There are so many ways that well-meaning sellers, agents, and prospective buyers can waste time and energy. Over the years, I've learned that the best way to eliminate these issues is to make my appointments and ask questions upfront. That way, I can assure sellers that more qualified buyers will be visiting.
Professional agents appreciate my telling them about the pros and cons of the properties, and frequently when they share their buyer's need, I may have another coming on the market. Or how about we run an "ad" for your buyer or a mention on the radio show.
Showing the wrong house to a buyer wastes time for everyone. Knowing your buyer's parameters is very important. You should have a pretty good idea of what they want and ensure the home has the amenities and conditions to suit the buyer.
Save everyone's time by not showing the wrong house!
Thinking of buying or selling a home
Call Margaret Rome