Sellers Have Lives Too!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

MotivatedSellers Have Lives Too!

To listen to some people you'd swear that home sellers only have one responsibility, to make their homes available 24/7/365 and it's just unfathomable that sellers could EVER have the nerve to decline a showing.

While we understand the importance of making a home available to show, (obviously buyers aren't buying what they can't see), is it reasonable to eliminate a home from your list just because the sellers can't accommodate your request for 1 p.m. today?  Do you want to limit yourself to homes that are available at your exact convenience, or do you want to consider homes that on paper and online seem to be a perfect match for you, but just aren't available for viewing RIGHT THIS MOMENT?  After all, you're making one of the biggest decisions you can make, and you're probably going to be living in this home for years.  Why settle?  Unless you HAVE to buy a home today or there's another home that is hot on your list and you HAVE to finish comparing TODAY, why does going out a second time preclude a home from consideration?  What, turning you down means the sellers aren't motivated??

Put yourself in the seller's shoes for a few moments. 

Maybe little Susie is doing her imitation of Linda Blair in The Exorcist and nothing is staying where it belongs.  You want her packed up and sitting in the minivan while you tour? 

Maybe Mr. Seller has Hong Kong Creeping Crud #48 and might be a little contagious.  You SURE you want them to open the doors and say come on in? 

Maybe the family has religious convictions so they don't leave the home on the Sabbath.  Is that really so wrong? 

Should they have to cancel the graduation party for the twins because you want to see their home RIGHT NOW?

Just because we don't know the reason for the declined showing doesn't make the sellers evil people.  It just means they have lives and for the time frame requested, things just didn't work out.  Doesn't mean they're not motivated, doesn't mean they don't want to sell their home, it just means 1 p.m. today didn't work.  There was something besides you that took a higher priority.  Obviously there's a risk you won't come back, and they're hopeful you'll understand that sometimes Life has plans other than selling a home.

Now if they turn down showing requests 2, 3 and 4, NOW we'll start suspecting they have motivation issues!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Liz direct:  513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  LizSpear@Go-Concepts.com

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 05/30/2012 05:40 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
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Ohio Warren County
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Rainmaker
335,813
John Juarez
Prudential California Realty - Fremont, CA
CDPE, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Liz and Bill,

Thanks for the reality check. Selling a house is a big deal and always being open for showings is a challenge. Sellers’ lives are definitely impacted by the entire experience.

May 29, 2012 09:43 PM #88
Rainmaker
1,161,694
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
Wow, I am almost comment 100. Good comment number! But Bliz, could you imagine Walmart or Kmart saying... no , now is not convenient time for us to allow you to shop.
May 29, 2012 09:45 PM #89
Rainmaker
1,161,694
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
What great clip art. It makes you break out in a smile.
May 29, 2012 09:46 PM #90
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Harry F. D'Elia
Precision Real Estate Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, CSSN, Radio Coach, REOs, ABR

I have never had a probelm when it comes to showing homes when people are in them. Most people have been flexible

May 29, 2012 11:04 PM #91
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663

Great post Bill and Liz, I have seen a lot of blogs lately that were irritated with sellers for not being fully on board, but I think that is important to look closely at both perspectives.  I know that I would hate to have strangers touring my home too often or without adequate notice.

May 29, 2012 11:11 PM #92
Rainer
280,349
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Kimo's Lifestyle Solutions

It seems that professional courtesy by scheduling a preview is too much to ask for, isn't it? Interesting post and comments.

May 29, 2012 11:22 PM #93
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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

BLiz I am so tired of the "my client is in town for TODAY" line too. Blah, blah, blah, blah, lie, lie, lie. Yeah right. WhatEVER.

May 30, 2012 03:08 AM #94
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Debe, Usually after the 2nd attempt we're in.  When I get rejected a 3rd time I'm having a few choice words with the listing agent as to what's the story?  Fortunately tenant occupied isn't a niche I have to deal with.  We have one multi-family listed and the owner conducts all showings and coordinates the showings.  Not our typical mode, but it works for him.

Ruthmarie, Tenant occupied is something we won't do again after having two tenant occupied properties for one investors.  We didn't make anything off of them, but we did spend quite a bit replacing signs that just kept disappearning.  Listing agent presence is fairly unusual here.  We did have one listing of ours that was like that, and between the two of us one of us could readily accomodate the schedule, then park in the dining room and be available for questions.  Double ending isn't something we intentionally seek, have always felt like doing things that increases those odds are usually things that run counter to quickly selling the home, so where's the fiduciary responsibility in that?

Tammie, Similar with one of our listings, religious reasons, nothing from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  They recognize the potential impact, and know it will take them longer to sell.  As long as they recognize that fact, we can live with it as long as they remain loyal to us too.

Leslie, That's what baffles me.  I know there are exceptions, but a buyer who MUST buy today and spend 100's of thousands of dollars just isn't common in our sphere.  It's just not logical to me to restrict the options to the homes that are available today.  Depending on whether you've seen a home that interests you already, the buyer has the luxury of looking a 2nd, 3rd, 4th day.....  surely that house that isn't available today can be seen another day without some major life disruption for both parties.  A little cooperation and advance planning SHOULD be able to make it happen, if the buyer truly has interest in that home.

John, The impact starts long before the sign goes in the yard with the effort to get it ready for the market.  I'd say it's far easier for a buyer to view homes than it is for a seller to live in a home and keep it show ready all the time, especially in a market like ours where that is typically months and months, not just a week or two.

Cheryl, iclipart.com, we bought a subscription this year to help with the illustrations :)  And even the big box stores sometimes close for inventory, or worse yet, they let you in and have ONE cashier for checkout!

Harry, It's been a rare exception for us too.  Had a short sale recently that was being REALLY uncooperative.  Three attempts, including the 3rd being exactly when the listing agent said we should be able to get in.  After the 3rd rejection had the listing agent coordinate instead of the showing desk, and that solved the problem.  After seeing the place, I'd say the seller was more than a little unmotivated.

Bob, Sellers know it's not going to be super convenient going in, but there needs to be some reasonable limits to what they're expected to do.  They're adults, and it's their choice to decline if it gets to be too much or too conflicting that day.  And it doesn't mean they should have to remove the sign from the yard because they choose decide some other life event has higher priority for that afternoon.

Kimo, Previewing is the rare exception, and we still have the same base issue with the seller needing to leave for showings.  I don't want them alone with a buyer's agent to have those "innocent" questions asked that are really gaining leverage for the buyer.

Charita, That line may often be true, but the "cried wolf" routine has been done so many times that we will naturally be skeptical anytime we hear it.  Is it true, or just a last ditch attempt to make our seller do what they want?  Only if you get an offer do you find out if the buyer is local or from out of state.  And frankly if you use that line, write an offer and we find out the buyer IS local, you've just told us something about your character and we'll be doubly wary the rest of the transaction.

May 30, 2012 03:19 AM #95
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Amanda and Jared Christiansen, YOUR Fort Wayne Realtors
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Century 21 Bradley.

Good post BLiz.  Life as a seller is rough.  We always ask our sellers to be willing to be ready on short notice.  We realize that they can't ALWAYS be ready, but most of the time they are.  

May 30, 2012 03:59 AM #96
Rainmaker
1,971,735
Roy Kelley
Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Wonderful post.  Buyer agents should prepare their clients to be understanding when scheduling showing times.

May 30, 2012 05:36 AM #97
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jared, And most times the sellers do accommodate, probably more often than most of us would if we were the ones with the signs in the yard.  No envy for the ones that have to pack the entire brood and pets every time someone requests it.

Roy, Just a pinch of understanding goes a long ways with this situation.

May 30, 2012 05:41 AM #98
Rainmaker
892,863
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bliz, I think a lot of it has to do with the agent who wants to show the property. "I'll show them." Over all, most sellers go out of their way to be accommodating.

May 30, 2012 07:08 AM #99
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Michael, And that's a struggle for me.  A large part of our role is putting aside our personal emotions and keeping on track for our client's benefit.  Buyers and sellers often take their cues from their agents, we can make it smooth, or we can set the woods on fire.  Which makes sense?

May 30, 2012 07:21 AM #100
Rainmaker
634,406
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Liz and Bill, I agree, common sense is required on both sides.

May 30, 2012 02:04 PM #101
Rainmaker
278,601
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID - Boise, ID
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I work with A LOT of out of town clients that really ARE in in town for only a day or two and when we can't get into a house we often don't have time to reschedule it.  I'm not, nor do I ever lie about that.  Of course sellers have lives too.  But, the problem is that it is the seller who loses.  The buyer finds and purchases another home while the sellers home still sits on the market.  Certainly the seller needs to know that risk when they are declining that showing.  -Kasey

May 31, 2012 10:42 PM #102
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Bob, For sure!

Kasey, Areas like yours might be the exception for the buyers just in for a day, and I'm glad you've got a stream of buyers that MUST buy something today.  Our area is more likely buyers taking weeks and sometimes months to make a choice, so a failed attempt to connect with a home shouldn't be critical.  In your area, obviously sellers have to be extra aware of how much more significant a declined showing may be.

Jun 01, 2012 03:21 AM #103
Rainmaker
192,082
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

Very valid point. The tough part is getting the eager home hunter to step into the seller's shoes. Do you initiate this conversation with your clients? I think it would be a great relationship builder to use between agents and clients. A bit of sage advice from the agent to the client, so to speak.

Jun 01, 2012 07:34 AM #104
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

David & Bonnie, One of our early conversations with buyers is the need to whenever possible provide at least 24 hours notice to us when they want to see a home.  That enables us to get the appointments on the table early and find out if there are objections, and if so can we work around them?  It's the "I'm in the neighborhood so we'd like to add this house too" that cause the most problems.

Jun 01, 2012 07:39 AM #105
Rainmaker
278,601
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID - Boise, ID
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I'm not sure it's so much my area as it is the clients I work with because of how we get leads.  We work with a lot of online leads and many of them are out of state.  We build a relationship with them over time and mostly via email and then many of them come into town for just a few days or a weekend to look for a home so they can go back home and pack up their house wherever they are from and be back here just in time to close and move into their new home.  I don't know that tons of agents in my area work this way, but I do quite a lot so that's just my perspective on it.  -Kasey

Jun 07, 2012 09:42 PM #106
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kasey, You've definitely got a different dynamic and niche, but it's obviously working for you!  And in your case the time pressures are considerably greater than our typical local client who is looking for the just right home in a more leisurely fashion.  They may have the option of staying with family or renting short term until they get the right match, so a single declined showing doesn't necessarily scratch a home from consideration.  On the other hand if you've only got 24-48 hours, a whole new game.  The trouble is most listing agents have had the routine about "out of state" clients pulled so many times and then found out they actually lived locally that we're naturally very skeptical.  We'll still do everything we can to arrange the showing because we need the showings to sell the homes.  It's a strange profession we've chosen :)

Jun 08, 2012 03:09 AM #107
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