Work with me here people~

By
Real Estate Agent with The Berkshire Group Realtors

tarnishedSometimes I wonder why homeowners bother to put their homes on the market.  It seems more and more I show homes that are just not ready to be viewed.  

Homeowners, as buyer's agents, we need your help here.  We aren't miracle workers, our buyers do not have the same feelings for your home as you do. They won't overlook the cobwebs on the light fixtures and the ring around the tub.  They have no fondness for Jr's Cheerios that crunch beneath our feet in the kitchen.

Buyers as brilliant as they are have no vision. Or rather should I say they don't want to use their vision. They want to open their eyes and see a lovely home that fits their dreams, not a nightmare in need of a Merry Maid!

Homeowner, please work with me on appointments too.  I realize being ready to show your home with short notice is nerve wrecking.  It certainly can ruin family dinner time, but hear me out please.  My buyers often come in from faraway places.  We have a short time table to find a home.  Very typically we have 3 days to target several neighborhoods, locate at least two acceptable properties and write and offer.  

Over the course of that time we can and will look at 15 to 30 homes if need be.  If your home makes the cut, please don't try to rearrange our schedule to suit your schedule.  When you play "Lets Make a  Deal" with our schedule, you may lose a chance to show your home.  Sorry, but this is a cold hard fact, there are plenty of homes to look at, so please work with me here.

Listing agents; most of you go out of your way to market the property and get our attention.  Be sure when you do your MLS listing is letter perfect.  Don't try to lure me in with mis-stated facts.  When you say the home is a 4 bedroom home and I get there only to learn it's a 4 bedroom home IF the 4th bedroom is converted from the MEDIA room you also advertised back to a bedroom.  You not only wasted my time, gas but you violated the rules of ethics.  Is a showing based on false info going to get your house sold?

Buying and selling real estate takes a lot of effort.  Sellers remember your home will no longer be a home, it's a product on the shelf.  If you want to sell it, make sure it shows well and is open for viewing.  The more time you take to polish your product the less time you will have to do it.  Investing up front in cleaning, staging and promoting is the best investment you can make.

 Tarnished Rose ~ Photo by Kristal Kraft © 2007

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Rainer
120,370
Mario Levesque
Advantage Avenue Real Estate - Wesley Chapel, FL
Tampa Realtor

Kristal,

Good point, this is one difficult part of our job,convincing owners that their home is not good enough for the market.   Some make a living out of this situation however.   Stager comments anyone?

Mario

May 18, 2007 12:56 PM #2
Rainmaker
574,889
Neal Bloom
Keller Williams Properties, Weston FL - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate
It's bad enough how slow it is but when you get something going..the clients forget to prepare.
May 18, 2007 01:01 PM #3
Ambassador
2,467,259
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

From your lips to - - - well, you know where.

I sold a home to a nice couple a month ago and I've been waiting for 4 weeks for them to get trash taken away.  I will not put their house on the market until the trash is gone and the door is on the upstairs bedroom closet and the boxes are moved from in front of the furnace so a home inspector can get to it and . . . . . . .

 

May 18, 2007 01:03 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,033,947
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Melbourne, FL
Personal Service, always.
Some folks just don't get it. The listing agents have to explain the market situation, bluntly at times, to get the message across. 
May 18, 2007 01:10 PM #5
Ambassador
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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Kristal..... funny that you should write about this. In regards to your post, I just made this type of comment on someone's post that talked about dealing with buyers for a year. Do they really want to buy?  Too picky?

In your case,  do they really want to sell it?  Why do they give certain agents a hard time about being flexible...etc etc.

You wrote this...Sellers remember your home will no longer be a home, it's a product on the shelf.  I never heard it expressed like this. Very cool. Meaning.. what a great way to put it in perspective to a seller. Very creative.

                                                                                                              jeff belonger

May 18, 2007 01:12 PM #6
Rainmaker
457,926
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes

Kristal - great post - you've said it better than I could of. You highlighted many of my pet peeves - misleading MLS info - Grrrrrrrrr!,

Inflexible schedules for viewings - gotta say "Vacant on Loxbox" are usually top of my list! :-) Like you we've got a bunch to see and I need as much help as possible from the seller.

The worst is getting run around by a Listing company "call desk" that wants everything including rights to your first born just to say someone will get back to you - NOT!

May 18, 2007 01:33 PM #7
Rainer
200,897
Mana Tulberg
805 County Real Estate - Camarillo, CA
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA
Kristal, I couldn't have said it better myself. I have had to show homes that are listed as 3 or 4 bedrooms but when we show up we have to search up and down for that bedroom that is just not there!!!!!!! 
May 18, 2007 01:53 PM #8
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Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Patricia ~ Those that "get it" sell their homes in the first 30 days...it seems so worth it to me to do it right the first time.

Mario ~ Stagers certainly have strong input here. But they can't be present all the time.  When  homeowner is on board with the marketing, it helps everyone.

Neal ~ I always tell them I'm in charge of marketing and you are in charge of marketability.  They means keeping it picture perfect and ready to show.

 Lenn ~ perfect example.  I had a couple spend a month getting the home ready because they wanted me to sell it while they were on vacation.  That was a tall order, but it worked. They cleaned the home up pretty and left.  A few days later we had an solid offer.  Perfection!

 

May 18, 2007 02:09 PM #9
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Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Gary ~ I know exactly what you mean.

Jeff ~ I have no patience with buyers who look for a year. They are not buyers they are lookers.  We have some areas where the neighborhoods have a lot of stay at home homes with little ones.  I was surprised to learn how difficult it was to work around these gals schedules for naps, soccer, lunch, etc.  It was extremely difficult for us to get from house to house because they all had a different time window.  Finally my buyer just gave up looking and bought a house.  That was fine with me, but we didn't see as many as we could have.  Who knows what home he would have chosen had he been given a proper choice.  He's happy now and that's fine by me!

Cyndee ~ yes setting appointments shouldn't have to be a challenge.  I think when a homeowner needs to sell a home he should check out the appointment setting routine with the potential listing agency.  If you get the run around how well will that serve the buyer?  And the seller for that  matter! Don't you just love the ones who never call back...it's like we are supposed to chase them down!  hahaha not lately!

Mana ~ You won't believe this but I actually went back a second time.  My buyer wanted to purchase the home, then when we went to count the bedrooms, one was missing.  Boy did we ever take a ribbing from the husband.  He questioned our counting abilities for the rest of the day! 

May 18, 2007 02:17 PM #10
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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

KK.... I would expect many to have that much patience, unless they had nothing else on their plate per se. In regards to working around other's schedules... that part cracks me up. But then they sometimes complain when you can't sell it as quickly... or they ask you why there isn't much traffic. But that is only if they were difficult to work with. Limiting the times that their house can be shown. Not saying that this happens often, but I know it has happened. 

                                                                                                             jeff belonger

May 18, 2007 02:46 PM #11
Rainmaker
166,629
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Realty Group - Gales Ferry, CT
Amen sister!  I love the part about "let's make a deal" with my schedule.  In my area, some agents still insist on being present at showings.  One agent particularly comes to mind - you call her for an appointment for 2:00 on Tuesday and she'll say "I can't make it at 2:00 on Tuesday but how about 11:00 on Wednesday?" 
May 18, 2007 07:14 PM #12
Rainer
144,549
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
KK - This is where a good home stager can make all the difference. When I finish staging an occupied home I give the homeowner pictures of how the home should look. I place the pics in inconspicuous places throughout the home.  I put the kitchen pics right in the kitchen under the dishtowels - bathroom pics go inside the medicine cabinet - bedroom pics especially kids ones inside a dresser drawer.  I try to get the whole family involved.  Even the little ones.  I try to make a game of it with families with a bunch of kids.  I tell them when someone wants to show the home you need to go into CODE RED mode.  Everyone gets a job - that way the the responsibility is shared.  I have heard that the families like it - sort of like a race or game to get things ship shape.  Hopefully since the home is beautifully staged they won't have to "play" for long!
May 18, 2007 07:57 PM #13
Rainer
144,549
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
BTW - I LOVE your rose pic!
May 18, 2007 07:58 PM #14
Rainmaker
98,205
Robert D. Ashby
Robert Ashby Photography - Miramar, FL

KK,

I am surprised there are not more comments on this post already.  This is so true and I would add that it is the same for borrowers in regards to preparing for purchasing a new home.  Well, I will create a blog about that later.

May 18, 2007 08:02 PM #15
Rainer
117,271
Bob Volanti
Keller Williams Realty Fresno - Clovis, CA
Fresno and Clovis, CA Realtor

Krystal,

You've raised the bar again! Homes are products and our time and expertise is what we offer. Ease of purchase is what drives so many businesses and we as agents should remember to be as accommodating as we can in showing our product and as listing agents we should counsel sellers to Make It Available!

Imagine your beloved Starbucks only open by appointment, or 24 hour notice, or filthy with refuse. Adios Starbucks.

Imagine new home builders doing the same thing. Adios homebuilder. The examples are there for us to learn from.

Love the Tarnished Rose. "Fragrance is the gift a rose gives to the heel that crushed it". Or something like that. Great work Krystal!

May 18, 2007 10:04 PM #16
Rainer
55,209
Margaret Ann Innis
Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging - Andover, MA
Real Estate Staging - MA & NH
You always have really good posts!  The Starbucks analogy is excellent - buyers can't buy if they can't get in!  And they can't use their vision to imagine how the house will look because they have too much on their mind - buyers are considering location, price, mortgage payments, where their furniture will fit or not fit, what are the schools like, etc.  Sellers only have 10-15 seconds to embrace the Buyer.  Stagers help the homeowner transition their property from a haven to a home to a house to a product.  Motivation to Stage is the true  line in the sand for a seller putting their home on the market - if the homeowner is motivated, they will Stage the house.  If the Seller resists Staging the property, there is something else going on in their life and they do not want to sell.
May 18, 2007 11:41 PM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
Very well written KK. There is nothing more frustrating than showing homes that are not prepared to be seen. And trying to negotiate showing times. When sellers won't cooperate, they get dropped from the list.
May 19, 2007 01:27 PM #18
Anonymous
Anonymous

Excellent, excellent! I didn't take the time to read the comments, but just yesterday, I showed a home that we wouldn't have bothered with if the listing agent had completed the MLS correctly. My buyers want a 1st flr MBR and hardwood floors - which the MLS specifically indicated this home had. Well, the MBR was on the 2nd floor and what he had said was a 1st flr MBR was really a den and the hall bath happened to have a shower. The hardwood floors were really Pergo! He also said there were only 2 BR's up when there were actually 3. And he said there was a BR in the basement - there wasn't. GEEZ!

May 20, 2007 10:27 AM #19
Rainer
292,515
Leanne Paynter • Greater Fort Lauderdale • Plantation, Davie, Cooper City
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Kristal, this has to be one of the most frustrating things about being a real estate agent!  Like you said, we are not miracle workers and if we are to sell a home for top dollar, the seller needs to expect to put forth some effort as well.  Agents need to be more cooperative as well.  Since in all likelihood, they've experienced the frustration of showing a 4/2.5 that's really a 3/2.5 with a loft (yes, I see this all the time), they should know better than to do it to other agents.
Jun 19, 2007 08:37 AM #20
Anonymous
Jackie Riggins

Krystal, you are spot on! It is just like us, we live in it, exist in it and yes sometimes let things go or simply abuse it. One of the largest investments we make with a much greater return on investment than the stock market, and we what.... ignore it, let it go, over-personalize it.. It being the properties we purchased! There are obvious reasons why "staging" has become front and center. It is for that "motivated" client to reap the rewards of taking care of their property, moving things out to increase square footage (pack up early), some simply know they need to move out..! Life is busy and we understand, yet to get a committment from the clients, the best way, is to have them up front and center in the consultation process of the staging. We are not miracle workers as real estate associates, yet marketing the property is our expertise. I refuse to vacuum a floor or make a bed... why?  Because I am not the one that "lives" their.. Move the clients from living in the home to living in a marketable property. Thank you for your posts! The reality is the client must be motivated to sell and be a part of being rewarded top dollar!

Jul 02, 2008 05:53 AM #21
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Kristal Kraft

Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022
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