A couple of days ago I joined the conversation at Trulia on how a listing agent should react when receiving a call from an unrepresented buyer that wants to see a listing.
I’ll be honest. I’m shocked that there are so many listing agents that will ask intrusive questions and make a potential buyer jump through hoops before showing them a house.
If you called a salesperson about a product and was questioned about your ability to buy the product before you even saw it, wouldn’t you just get ticked off and move on?
It would be like making a bad first impression on the phone before a first date. There’s a good chance that you might not ever make it to that first date…even if you looked great on paper.
Some of the other agents that commented at Trulia felt it was an intrusion on the seller’s time to have them get the house ready so it could be shown to a buyer that might not have a pre-approval yet. Other agents talked about how it was a waste of their time to show a house to someone that might not be able to get a mortgage.
Here’s my position.
When I agree to take on a listing, it is MY JOB to do everything I can to try to get the house sold. That includes getting as many buyers through the house as possible. As a seller, YOUR JOB is to make your house look as appealing as possible (that means clean and uncluttered) and to do your best to let potential buyers come through when they want to see it.
I spent 5 years working only with buyers when I started in real estate. I understand buyers. They need time to develop a relationship with an agent. To decide that they can trust this person and are willing to share personal information with them. I believe in spending a few hours 1 or 2 times looking at homes with my potential buyer clients before asking them to do things for me. Like provide me with a copy of a pre-approval or sign a buyer’s agency agreement. It’s not right for me to demand they commit themselves to working with me or sharing very personal information before they’ve had a chance to see how I conduct business.
I’m not going to risk possibly losing a sale because I got too pushy too fast on the phone with a sign caller.
On the other hand, there are things that I do consider an intrusion on my listing client’s time. The big one is open houses. Seriously…why should my sellers spend the time and energy getting their house ready and then clearing out for a few hours on a Sunday so that curious neighbors can come check out their decorating and price. The vast majority of people that go to open houses aren’t ready buyers. They are neighbors or people that just happened to drive by and see a sign. They have no idea if your house has the features that meet their minimum criteria, or even if you are in the right price range. But they saw a a sign and have been thinking of buying a house, so maybe they should check it out.
And if there is someone that is a ready buyer that sees the sign or ad…don’t worry, they’ll call me or their agent and schedule an appointment.
I won’t be turning them away.