If you desire to sell your home it is likely you will need prospective home buyers to visit and take a look. This action is known in the business as a home showing.
Most homeowners attempting to sell their property don’t necessarily like to be inconvenienced by letting their home be shown but understand the necessity. Their agents tell them that the more the home is shown the more likely it is to sell. In most cases this statement is true but times have changed.
Before the advent of the internet prospective home buyers would look for homes for sale by driving through neighborhoods and looking for real estate signs. They acquired the latest real estate magazines and/or the Reading Eagle classifieds. Finally, they would contact a Realtor®, sit down with them and look over the multi-list book, yes book. These actions took effort on the buyers’ part and made looking at homes more than a passing fancy.
Thanks to the internet more people have access to information on homes that are for sale than any time in history. Finding a home to preview and a real estate agent willing to show it is easier than talking kids into eating a banana split.
Take Trulia.com and Zillow.com for example…Your home listing shows up on their websites. Three or four real estate agents who likely have never been in your home are listed as the information source for your home. There is no sign of your listing agent or brokerage. Why? You’re listing agent or brokerage has no deal with Trulia or Zillow. In other words the agent and/or real estate brokerage you chose to market your home did not pay them to stop other real estate agents from being listed as the information source for your home.
The home buyer visiting the website sees your home. They don’t care who the listing agent is. They simply want information on the home. They provide their contact information and wait to be contacted. The home shopper’s information goes to every one of the agents listed with your home because they pay to be there.
Every one of the agents gets the same email stating they have a buyer requesting information on a home. The first one to respond has the best chance of engaging the prospect. It is a race. Maybe they will buy the home they wanted information about, maybe they will buy another home instead and maybe they have a home to sell as well. Either way, none of the preceding will happen unless the agent gets to the prospect first or comes up with an idea to capture their interest in them.
Some of these agents who get contacted may call and schedule a showing for the home the prospect requested information on. They then contact the prospect and tell them that the showing has been scheduled to see the home and they will meet them there. The agent does not even know if the buyer prospect wants to see the home or is qualified to buy it or any home.
You get a call requesting a showing on your home. You rush home, clean the house, turn the lights on and take the dog for a walk. You later get a call that the showing was cancelled. Hmmm. Maybe you get some ambiguous feedback that says the home is too far from their job or something along those lines. Question…Is your home being used by agents that pay lots of dollars to get leads as a meeting place?
Some say that if the home is vacant it does not matter. Think again. More people in the home leads to more chances a door gets left open or worse.
When selling a home it is very difficult to screen every showing. In some cases over screening can be counterproductive. So what’s a seller to do? Here are some ideas…Only allow showings on certain days and/or at certain times that cater to your schedule. Ask for 24 hours’ notice, NO EXCEPTIONS!
You see, if someone really wants to see your home they will find a way. If they call for a showing and it cannot be accommodated and they never call to reschedule that is a solid sign it was not serious anyway.
You work hard to make your home look good for showings. There was a time when one could depend on the professionalism of real estate agents to only show homes to screened buyer prospects. It seems the desire to get a return on their investment in Trulia and Zillow may outweigh good judgment.
Take quality over quantity!
Jeffrey C. Hogue
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