We all know that it is a seller’s market. That means that some sellers and their agents are pretty smug, a little cocky and often exasperating. One of my 365 Rules about Real Estate seems to have gone completely out the window and frankly it is frustrating. The rule I am talking about is:
Rule #238. Make your home easy to buy.
That is a good ‘catch all’ rule.
Here is one that is more specific:
Rule #241: Allow flexible times for viewings and showings. When people want to see your house, they want to see it on their time not when it’s convenient for you. If you make it difficult for a potential buyer to view your house, it sends the message that you will be difficult to negotiate with.
Hard to see. Hard to buy
There is a house that has been for sale for 45 days. 45 days in this market begs the question, “What’s wrong with it?”. It is in a good neighbourhood, with a good school and the pictures look nice. The price seems a little high, but most do this year. I don’t know. The problem, I think is that the showing times are Monday and Tuesday 4-6 and Thursday 10am-noon. That’s it. You can’t buy a house on the internet (Rule #17). These guys are killing themselves with these showing time restrictions. The message that they are sending is that they don’t really want to sell. If they are making it this hard to see, they will be making it even harder to buy. They got the power of a fire hose turned down to a mere dribble.
Many condos in Kitchener Waterloo have now outlawed having lockboxes on the premises. As such, showing condo units means a trip to the brokerage office to pick up the keys and then a return trip to drop them off. If a client comes to town and wants to see six units, that often means an hour ahead of time to go around to six brokerages to pick up six sets of keys before the showings and then an hour after the showings to return six sets of keys to six brokerages. Two hours of work has become four.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. Not at this time of year. When you leave keys at the brokerage, you’re just asking buyer agents to skip your property.
A better way is for the listing agent to meet you in the lobby or drop the key off for you. It is no wonder that even in this market, apartment-style condos often take a while to sell. Let’s get the listing agent out and helping to sell the place, eh? That’s what you’re paying him for, right?
Agent present for all showings
On the other extreme, there is an agent it town who likes to be present for all showings. This idea is rife with problems.
We don’t want to be sold to at a showing.
We don’t need complete and unabridged information on the house, the motivation of the sellers, your real estate opinion and experience-to-date at a first showing.
We don’t want to change our schedule to meet yours (see Rule #241 above).
We don’t like the way you are judging us as potential buyers.
And, it is just weird. You’re in the way, just like if the sellers themselves were home (Rule #256).
There is a lot of money at stake when selling your home. Done correctly rather than incorrectly could see a huge difference in sale price. Seller’s are hurting themselves by breaking the fundamental rules of good real estate. They are putting up road blocks where there should be an open road.
Of course, for buyer’s that is great news. They need a break.