Dart Board

Do you know what a pop tart agent is? If you're a buyer, a seller or even another agent, you need to know if you don't know. There are a couple of species of part tart agents:

  • A pop tart agent gets a phone call and runs out the door to let someone in a property when they know little to no information about a buyer, their history, their financial/creditworthiness or ability to buy. Just like a toaster. Pop and they're up and out the door.
  • A pop tart agent has car load of buyers and they drive by a home with a for-sale sign and call while sitting in front of the home or brazenly knock on the door. They want to see it without knowing any information about it, size, price, number of bedroom, if it remotely fits their buyer's needs.

There probably isn't a seller or listing agent that hasn't had to deal with the pop tart agent at one time or another. I've had to deal with it on more than one occasion myself. My seller's have been good sports about it so far, but I usually have educated them in advance to be prepared for it when it does happen.

To turn away a showing is stressful simply because some areas of the Bonita Springs real estate market are languishing and every potential buyer is to be valued, even if we're not sure if they're qualified. Ultimately, it is up to the seller to choose whether or not to they wish to accommodate a short notice showing. They can always say no but most of the time the seller feels compelled to try to fit them in because they're worried that the buyer is the one they've been waiting for. Basically, it's a crap shoot and the odds really stink that a buyer is going to be found like this.

Not long ago I had a pop tart agent call me after speaking to my seller in the front yard. The agent approached my seller in their front yard without an appointment or permission to do so. She wanted in right away with her car load of buyers (four adults and two children). I first thanked her in advance to not speak to my seller again without my permission. She then:

  • Informed me that she was from a city over one hour and a half away from Bonita Springs.
  • She is not a member of either of the closest Board's of Realtors.
  • She cannot access our lockbox because she doesn't have the technology.
  • She wants me to take her word for it (on the phone) that she is, in fact, a licensee and wants my seller to vacate for the showing and leave the door unlocked for her to be able to get in.

Let's just say, when pigs fly. What are the odds that a legitimate sale will result from this in the near future? This agent was not remotely educated in our local inventory or even able to get to the information to educate herself or her buyers. I hardly believe that a celestial light shined above this house indicating that it was the hidden treasure the buyer had been searching high and low for in this inventory saturated market. Fortunately, they miraculously found it when they spotted it from the back seat of the mini van. I wonder if they got prequalified for their mortgage back there, too.

It is aggravating to be involved in a situation like this. In order to accommodate the showing the sellers have to scramble to ready the home, the listing agent has to drop what they're doing or rearrange their plans and appointments to open the home, knowing full well that they're only dealing with a licensee, not a professional real estate agent. Professionals don't usually help buyers find homes by going door to door.

The last pop tart adventure even inspired me to sit my seller down and fully explain the facts surrounding the fiasco. First, they probably shouldn't get their hopes because showings like this are about as successful as a monkey throwing darts in the dark. Second, they should not believe that everyone that beats their door down and asks to come inside is a legitimate agent or home buyer. Sadly, some people aren't honest and that's another job the listing agents have, screening or accompanying those who do go into the home.

As a safety issue sellers shouldn't allow strangers into their home without an appointment. It just isn't a smart move. Anyone can be a target for pop tart posers but here are a few examples of those that should be especially watchful.

  • Pregnant women
  • Families with newborns
  • People who may have confusion, physical weaknesses or illness
  • Single parent households
  • People that may have valuables, collectibles or expensive pets
  • People with serious medical issues that require strong medication or narcotics for pain.

Seller's of real estate in Bonita Springs and Estero need to understand how to and protect themselves and their homes. That includes not letting someone stop out front and talk their way into their home.

If you're a seller of a Bonita Springs home and you're faced with a pop tart agent or buyer who walks around the real estate sign in the yard and tries to talk their way in, simply say: "We're not available right now to accommodate a showing" and then hand them the card of your real estate agent to make an appointment. If they're serious they'll call to schedule an appointment to see the home. If they aren't you've just saved yourself unneeded stress and protected your home, just like you should. Sure, there's always a one in a million chance that it could work out, but it can work out with an appointment, too.