Are You Sure Buyers Actually Get In Your Home?
Sometimes it really isn't that difficult to figure out why a home isn't selling. I stumbled onto a big reason why some homes don't sell this past weekend. There wasn't a whole bunch of hocus pocus involved or even a comparative market analysis. All the home has to be in order to sell is accessible. That's it. Buyers just have to be able to walk through the front door and see it. There you have it, real estate rocket surgery. You can't sell real estate if they can't get in.
You see, I been working with a fabulous family I've been helping find a new home. They've been prequalified and the trigger is ready to be pulled. Actually, they're already packing, they're so anxious to buy. They've now narrowed a list of homes they wanted to see that best fit their criteria and asked me to make appointments for a specific day that they would be off of work.
Out of a pool of about eighteen homes that were chosen to see we only got into nine. Most of them had misleading or inaccurate contact information for scheduling an appointment. The rest didn't return my calls. That is actually pitiful. I don't know if the home seller's even realize that they'd become a casualty of indifference.
It took more than a full weekend to get clearance to show property from the listing agents or their offices. Multiple phone calls were made to each listing office, plus email requests were made to the agent. One still hasn't even called back. The most amazing part of this entire story is that all but two of the homes are vacant and simply sitting there waiting to get their new owners. What's more, nearly every listing was a short sale so I'm sure the owners are anxious if not desperate to sell.
Sellers you need to protect yourselves and monitor how or if your agents get people into your home. Don't hand them the key to the front door without following up and making sure that they're doing their job.
If you're one of those sellers fit to be tied over this market, anxious to sell, you're tired of writing out mortgage checks or you're on the brink of foreclosure you need to make sure buyers and the agents who are working with buyers can get in to see your home. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic agents out there. You just need to make sure you have one that is doing their job and exhausting every lead that comes your way.
There are a couple of things I took away from my last appointment setting adventure that I'll share with you.
It's not that hard to make arrangements for a reliable person or service to answer the phone to schedule showings.
Only two of the offices I called had a direct number that worked on the weekend with a live person that answered the phone. There was one office that didn't even have voice mail. Several calls only provided ringing until an automatic disconnect after about 30 rings. Yes, I counted.
One agent played phone tag with me all weekend even after I left detailed voice mail and email messages with the property addresses that we'd like to see. She called and left me several messages to "call her back", then didn't answer the phone. When she finally did answer she said, "Oh, they're vacant." Instead of just leaving a voicemail that said so two days ago without running me and anyone else that wants in the house around in circles.
So maybe you're thinking whoopee doo, I don't need you to show my house anyway. Well, if your agent isn't answering my calls in a timely fashion or at all for that matter, do you think they're responding to a real live potential buyer for your home any faster? A sign call? An internet inquiry? A neighbor who has called with friend or family thinking of moving to the area?
How many potential buyers may have already tried to contact your agent to get more information or schedule an appointment and not gotten a call back? What would stop them from giving up quickly and moving next door to the home where the agent is returning calls. I wouldn't doubt for a minute that it's happened. Buyers don't have to be patient and supply is plentiful. They don't need the hassle.
In this sort of market there is no excuse for having a potential buyer not be able to get into any home. Period. Especially with a few days advanced request for an appointment. I bet you that the sellers of those homes that missed showings wouldn't think there is an excuse either if they knew what was happening.
Real estate isn't a nine-to-five job and if an agent is not willing to do the job every day or effectively make arrangements for someone to help in their absence; they're in the wrong business and you've got the wrong agent.
Yeah, I know some agent is going to be reading this and have a littler of kittens. They'll posture themselves and thump their chest while they declare that Sunday is for God and family and they don't work on that day. That's fine. Enjoy the freedom of worshiping the God of your choice and spending time with your family. Simply have systems in place for your customer's sake while you're taking your sabbatical. Just because you're taking a break doesn't mean the rest of the world is.
Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area. Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You'll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor. If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.
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