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6 Sep 2012
“How not to sell a home today” is the title to an article I never thought I would be writing. But the title jumped out and smacked me in the face today when I was trying to schedule showings for a qualified buyer.
This morning I made several phone calls for appointments to show this qualified client more homes. I tell sellers all the time that they should make it easy for buyers to view their homes. Anytime a seller makes buyers and their agents jump over a number of hurdles to get inside the home, the chances of selling it dramatically drop. Today’s real life example about how not to sell a home makes the point.
One of the homes we will look at is in Diamond Point. That’s vacant, so that’s easy to get into with no notice. Two more homes I want to show my client are in Port Ludlow. These are two different homes listed by two different traditional brokerages. On the first listing I call the listing agent at her cell number. No answer. I want to show it this afternoon, so I can’t sit around waiting for someone to “call me maybe.” I call her brokerage. I get a long voice message with lots of options. I don’t want to listen to a long list of names and their extension numbers, so I dial “O” to talk to the receptionist. Guess what? There is no receptionist answering the phone at this big name brokerage. Okay. Patience. I call the cell phone number of the co-agent on the listing. No answer. I try the main listing agent’s cell phone several more times, and finally she picks up, and tells me I need to call her office to have someone arrange the showing. I tell her no one is picking up at her office. She says there are lots of people there. I tell her no one in the entire office is answering the phone. She tells me to go ahead and call the sellers directly. Thank God. I do that and get an appointment. (Wow, talk about how not to sell a home!)
The second listing is also in Port Ludlow. Again the listing does not give us the option of simply calling the sellers, which it clearly should. The listing requires that you call the listing agent. I do that but the listing agent doesn’t answer his phone either. Amazing! After a couple of hours, the listing calls me, and it turns out the darn house is vacant anyway. We do have a great conversation, though, and I ask him about why it is so darn hard to show homes in Port Ludlow. He says both owners are agents are stuck in old worn out practices. Tell me something I don’t know. Do sellers understand any of this? I don’t know, but I doubt it.
If you are a seller, and if you are serious about selling your home, you’ve got to make your home showable at a moment’s notice, and the buyer’s agent should not have to go through several people to get to you. Believe me, if buyers cannot see your home conveniently, they have plenty of others they can look at and buy.
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