Yesterday some dusty corridor of my mind belched forth the phrase "people unclear on the concept."
Like the blind driving school instructor. Or a beauty contest judge who selects the hairy-faced guy with flies buzzing around his head as the pageant winner. The list could go on and on. And you could entertain yourself for anywhere from 4 to 37 minutes making up your own clever retorts.
Or you could be bored to tears by what I say next.
The current real estate market is not what anybody would term as vibrant. Occasionally numbers shift up, typically reflecting a discharge of transacted properties that are bank-owned or short sales. But the market for units being offered under conventional terms by private sellers is slow to sluggish. And so these sellers often do whatever they can to attract attention.
How, you may ask, do they do this?
They do it with pricing that often is percentage points less than what they paid if they bought within the last six years.
They do it by following staging instructions, accenting couches with colorful pillows or swagging hanging lamps to accent spaces.
They do it by fixing things that need to be fixed like patching holes, painting walls, caulking baths, scrubbing grout, and whatever cosmetic or other fixes may be needed to make the place as presentable as possible.
They do it by keeping their places in pristine show-ready states for even last-minute requests.
And they are available for pretty much any showing request, never turning away a prospect.
And then there are folks who are unclear on the concept.
We met two of them yesterday as my clients Jason and Kim and I bounced from Lincoln Square to Roscoe Village to Lakeview to Andersonville looking for a 2/2 condo that matched their price point and aesthetic requirements.
Actually, we didn't meet them yesterday. We would have metaphorically if they had agreed to our showing requests but evidently these requests didn't work for them. And so they instructed their agents to let us know that maybe we could come back some other time.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
Come back to see you? Here's a brief reality check - when you deny a showing request, especially one made several days in advance, what you are saying to me and my clients is that we don't matter. And in a buyer's market this is putting the wrong foot forward.
So I tell my clients that as we have taken the time to orchestrate a full and busy schedule, intimating that we are willing to buy the right place should we see it, the sellers who turn their backs to us, telling us to come back some other time that suits them not only don't care about the prospect of us buying their home but they have given us plenty of grist to assume that they will be intransigent in the course of any negotiation.
Think about it!! It's Saturday afternoon. We are viewing maybe 8 places. You have the chance to be one of the 8 that we have sifted through and selected to include as we decide which home to buy. And you reject our overture? Are you kidding me?
If they are not going to make an effort to comport to our schedule before writing an offer can you imagine what they will be like in a negotiation? When determining inspection items? When getting to closing?
Hmm, which door would you choose? The one that croaks from the other side like a macabre Monty Python character "come back later." Or the one that opens their door, is reasonably priced, makes an effort to position the place with good online photos, seems to have taken the time to arrange the physical environment as well as taken reasonable steps to enable you to see this place at all?
My response? While I already defined the seller's turn-away as tantamount to a one-fingered salute let it be known that in response I raise my hand and lift my thumb and draw it close enough to my one squinting eye so as to block out the image of the denying seller standing in the hypothetical distance and I too issue a croaking voice that says, "I can't see you."
Of course, my client will make the ultimate call whether we will return. But as far as I am concerned, that listing no longer exists.
And for my clients. We did find a place Saturday and submitted an offer Sunday. So circling back to the recalcitrant sellers won't be necessary.
As for the folks unclear on the concept? I suppose they can ask their agent to follow up on the showing that didn't take place to find out that there's no reason to expect that it will.
And so it goes.