Dear Listing Agent: Yes, I’m Serious. Are You?

By
Real Estate Agent with Baird&Warner Fox Valley

Dear Listing Agent: Yes, I’m Serious. Are You?

“Is your buyer serious?” was the question I got from a listing agent this weekend when I called to schedule a showing in St. Charles IL. After waiting six hours for a return call, it was all I could do not to snap back “Nope, we’re not the least bit serious. I’m wasting my time and I want to waste yours, too.”

I know that sellers get weary of the cycle of cleaning-showing-disappointment, especially if their house has been on market a while. Many sellers who were on the market over the winter are hoping that the new crop of Spring shoppers will bring out that perfect buyer.  But some of these sellers — and their agents — are letting their cynicism and skepticism get in the way of selling a house in St. Charles.

Each buyer who enters the market is looking at the inventory with fresh eyes. The listing agent has a responsibility to be as excited today about the house as he was the day he entered the listing. The house has to shine on the internet and at the showings. If the house has fall photos, they should be updated with spring shots. A new front photo and new interior shots with re-arranged rooms might even attract a buyer who has been lurking for months.  The house should be easy to show and as perfect looking as it was the day of the first broker tour.

More thoughts for listing agents:

  • Check your remarks in the mls. ”$10,000 credit for a contract by December 1″  is just sloppy and shows you’re not paying attention.
  • If I call to schedule a showing, I am serious. Do not grill me, if I’m showing houses it’s because I have a serious and qualified buyer. That’s all I have to reveal so don’t ask me more.
  • If the schedule changes it’s the listing agent’s job to communicate it to the seller. Little kids throw up in the car, flights are late, people cut out whole subdivisions at the last minute…the list is endless. I’ll call, text or email the second I know the schedule is shifting. It is not my fault if you use an on-line showing application that doesn’t update you or you’ve turned your phone off for the day.
  • Buyers and their agents need info in a way they can use it. Written is best…leaving a long voice mail about all the upgrades in the house is a waste of time and insulting. If you have something important to say, it’s important enough to write down. Which brings me to….
  • Brochures are really important. There are usually lots of interesting details that might make a house stand out. I like seeing a map of the subdivision, a list of community events, park district and school information. Many agents are now offering an e-brochure to be sent before the showing, a great alternative to long paper brochures.
  • My feedback is brief but accurate. Don’t call me and ask me to make a particular suggestion in the feedback to the seller on price or improvements. That’s the listing agent’s job.

So let’s all enter the Spring market with a fresh attitude to match the fresh breezes. We owe it to our clients.

I list and sell houses in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Wayne and Elburn IL. Want a fresh perspective on the market? Give me a call (630)94-7935.

Originally published at Foxvalleyrealestate.net
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This post was written by Leslie Ebersole of Baird & Warner Real Estate.
Use or reproduction of the material published on this site is expressly prohibited
without the express written permission of the author.

 

FOX VALLEY LIVING

 

My Email leslie.ebersole@bairdwarner.com

My Mobile (630)945-7935

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Show All Comments
Rainer
158,907
Glenn Freezman
Family Abstract, Inc.

Thanks you all for a great thread to a great post!

March 09, 2012 01:19 PM
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hi Leslie,  Great list.   Much of it is driven by professinal courtesy or just plain good menners.  Listing agents who ask that question should look in the mirror.

March 09, 2012 01:42 PM
Rainmaker
443,303
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Cam Realty and Property Management

I agree with Scott #20, I used to have the information inside the house until I received negative feedback from Buyers agents. They didn't want their Buyers to have LA information or start cmparing their agent to the listing agent. All great points, only if you could get this message to ALL the agents out there.

March 09, 2012 01:48 PM
Rainmaker
672,825
Gene Mundt
Mortgage Lender - Chicago/Chicagoland Mortgages
www.genemundt.com

Leslie:  Your post reminds me of the comedian Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" jokes.  I would think the answer to their question would be an obvious ... especially in today's market ...

Gene

March 09, 2012 03:12 PM
Rainmaker
420,591
Leslie Ebersole
REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
Baird&Warner Fox Valley

Beth #48 I had my first complaint on a brochure ever from another agent, she didn't like that I had a print out of a blog post with a writeup of the subdivision and community center in the brochure. It was a dry as dust piece, strictly informational. This is a new issue for our area, I'll have to pay attention to the issue.

Rusell Lewis we all get that way sometimes, but usually not until deep in the negotiation :-)

 

There are so many witty remarks in here I'm cracking up. Wish we could say what we're really thinking when someone is a little crabby!

 

March 09, 2012 03:23 PM
Rainmaker
501,052
Christine Smith
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com

Leslie...I had a listing agent ask me the same thing today about my buyer.  Oh and I could care less if the listing agent has their own brochure there or their information on a "beauty sheet". I guess I feel that my buyers have chosen to work with an EBA and probably won't be calling the listing agent anyway.

March 09, 2012 03:25 PM
Rainmaker
538,391
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com

Great tips for making showings more productive. I would think when selling a home, anyone who wants to see the place is worth the work the sellers will have to do to show it.

Gretchen

March 09, 2012 04:28 PM
Rainmaker
807,814
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Leslie:  It would be great if the spring market got off on a great footing without the listing agent putting their foot in their mouth.  I hate the grilling from listing agents about 'who' your buyers are, what are they looking for? What? Ridiculous questions.

March 09, 2012 04:45 PM
Ambassador
582,599
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Leslie, I resent the question "are the buyers qualified?" Duh, what would you think?

March 09, 2012 05:01 PM
Ambassador
1,227,260
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

I have one agent who tried to schedule a showing and the listing agent GRILLED her on the buyer. Now this was a very inexpensive house, not at all high end. But the agent asked:

- is your buyer prequalified?

- with who?

- what type of loan?

- do you know what their credit score is?

 

This is BEFORE showing the house. Let's just get in and see if they like it before you start the grilling!

March 09, 2012 05:28 PM
Rainer
20,677
Dominique Britton
Experience the Difference in Real Estate Services
GoHomeToAtlanta.com Realty LLC - 678.250.5022

Great post Leslie, but I am really tripping off of Diana's comment (#9)...

Leslie - good post and all good points but my personal favorite is "Check your remarks in the MLS".

A couple days ago I found a listing in the MLS where there was a note in remarks "agent is waiting for key from owner. No showings until key is received" - and the listing date was four months ago!

All I have to say is WOW.

March 09, 2012 06:35 PM
Ambassador
1,859,287
Judi K Barrett
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma

Leslie,  Wonderful points made to the listing agent.. hope a few read this. ;)

March 09, 2012 06:51 PM
Rainmaker
1,033,276
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

I hope that the spring market is off to a good start. There certainly is a lot of activity throughout the us.....

March 09, 2012 07:44 PM
Rainmaker
171,570
Marti Steele Kilby
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA
Steele Group Realty

Great post!  I agree with Erica.  Unless it is a $1 million plus listing, don't grill me about my buyer's qualifications!  Trust me, I don't waste my time on the un-qualified.

March 09, 2012 09:42 PM
Anonymous #59
Anonymous
Anonymous

   As I started to read your post, I said to my wife," I love Active Rain because people say what I am already thinking."  What a perfect post. 

March 10, 2012 05:37 AM
Rainmaker
1,773,986
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

This is so often a sign of either a part time agent or a highly over priced listing.  If not those two, there are sure to be some other issues.

March 10, 2012 05:56 AM
Rainmaker
818,627
J. Philip Faranda
Broker-Owner
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Updating the listing is a big deal. When "won't last at this price" is still in the remarks after 180 days (along with  typos), you have to wonder. 

March 10, 2012 08:36 AM
Ambassador
1,550,626
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Leslie - It's our job to make sure a deal gets put together.  We need to work together to do it, and I agree with your suggestions.

March 10, 2012 09:08 PM
Rainmaker
266,412
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

Leslie, Good list. Personally, I actually would have said " No, we're not serious, we just feel like wasting everyones time today because we have nothing else to do" or something along those lines. This sounds like the type of listing agent that causes properties not to be shown and get sold. I leave info that helps the buyers agent answer questions about the property, like monthly utitlity bills, well and septic info, building permits for decks, additions, finished basements, etc. I don't really like listings agents that leave personal promotion cd's and brochures about how great they, etc.

March 11, 2012 06:30 AM
Rainmaker
559,792
Corinne Guest
Barrington's Country Suburban Home Matchmaker
Barrington Realty Company

I agree with you 99%. The 1% is the one that makes us all very tired and those are the agents that will show homes to anything that walks on two legs in the hope of a sale and commission check. Some agents in the past have laughed at me but I know it happens, we all do.

However if the listing agent has experienced that before, she should never have questioned you about how you run your business or whether your buyers were legitimate. As listing agents and sellers, we have to accept there are some time wasters out there, both consumers and agents.

(I guess I need to stop writing "Agents" seeing as everyone in IL is now a "Broker" of some kind :)

March 21, 2012 07:19 AM
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Rainmaker
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Leslie Ebersole

REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
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