Who Are The Geniuses Authoring Those Automated MLS Feedback Questions?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097

HuhDo you ever wonder who the genius is who authors those automated MLS showing feedback questions? The agent filling out the form is not to be blamed, the questions are uninspiring and the choice of answers are uninformative.

I’d love to find out if agents using MLS software other than Navica have any more useful questions on their feedback forms. Here’s Navica's…try to stay awake.


Buyer Agent Matilda has completed a showing of MLS # 99999 (99 Listing Lane SYLVA).

How do you think your buyer(s) liked this listing?
Interested…on a scale of one to huh?

Do you think your buyer(s) would consider making an offer?
Maybe…or maybe not? How many houses do you suppose are a “maybe”?

How do you think your buyer(s) rated the interior of the home?
Above Average … average being what exactly? Isn’t this the listing professionally painted, spotless to the point of being able to eat off the floor? The turn the freaking key and move in house? Above average … now that’s a goal!

How do you think your buyer(s) rated the exterior of the home?
Average … really? This is the house with the new roof, newly pressure washed, exquisite landscaping?

What did the buyer(s) think of the price?
High … now there’s a surprise! The buyer thinks the price is high … that IS valuable insight.

Is your buyer(s) considering a second showing
Maybe … news at 11 maybe?

Showing Comments: 

Private Comments:

A few questions our sellers would find the answers to more valuable might be:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how did your buyers like this listing?

How many listings have been scheduled for your buyers to look at?

What did your buyers like best about this listing?

What did your buyers like least about this listing?

Would your buyers like to make a purchase decision within one month? Two months? Three months? I guess it would never happen that there’d be a choice of “I’m starting to feel they’ll never make a decision”.

How long have you been working with these buyers?

What did your buyers think about the location of the listing? Rate how well it meets their needs on a scale of 1 to 10.

How did your buyers discover this listing? Agent found it, buyer found it on an internet site, print media, or other?

What other questions and answers do you think would be useful to listing agents and their sellers? Doesn't it make sense that better questions would also be helpful to the Buyer Agents? Maybe even the buyers themselves!

Personally? When we are serving in the role of Buyer Agents, I hate filling out these forms. The questions are bogus and serve no useful function for anyone involved in the process. Maybe if we gather enough pertinent feedback questions we can hand them over to the genius authoring the feedback forms! Everyone wins then.



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Cheryl Willis
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

Why would a 'Buyer's Agent' want to give feedback if they were interested in a purchase of the listing?

The only ones I give feedback too are the ones we are NOT interested in.  I don't like to give away our position.   My go to line is:  Your property did not meet my clients needs.

cheryl(keep client info confidential)willis

July 18, 2012 05:59 AM
Pam Ruckriegel
Negotiating the Best Deal for You!
Louisville Real Estate Pros - 502-435-5524

Good article and one of my pet peeves too!  I took all the questions off my automated request for feedback and put in my one question:

Please tell me what both you and your client thought of the home in terms of price and condition compared to other homes you have viewed recently.

That's it.  That's all I really need to know.  How well do we compare to the competition.  It' easy to see from the feedback if it is overpriced.  Interpret - small rooms, small yard, not enough this or that.  We can interpret that for our clients.

I rarely get someone who doesn't answer my feedback request, and often it's because they are writing an offer.

July 18, 2012 06:02 AM
Debbie Cook
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc

I agree that these forms are pretty useless.  You are damned if you do fill them out and damned if you don't.  The last time I filled one out with any length in my comments I had the seller of the property calling me for several days asking why this? and why that?.  She was arguing with every point the buyers made about what they didn't like or why they were'nt going to buy her house.  I was ready to shoot that listing agent!

July 18, 2012 06:08 AM
John DL Arendsen
Real Estate Bkr, Factory Built home Dealer/Devlpr
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments & ON THE LEVEL GC

I'm on board with Lenn. I tend to gloss over inane questions and get right to the meet of things.

July 18, 2012 06:14 AM
Anonymous #36
Vicki Temple

I have a box that says what did they think? Agents do a great job of telling me exactly what they think. I sometimes have sellers who are of I need to see it to believe it.

I had one the other day who had some pretty negative comments. That weekend I had 2 offers and the seller accepted one. The agent who thought so little of the house at first, went back one more time the next day to see it. She had offer in hand what a surprise, it was sold.  Had she told me I would have certainly wanted the seller to see it. Her buyer was so upset she cried over it all. Oh and the buyer was her daughter. She was a bit too coy and lost an opportunity.

July 18, 2012 07:12 AM
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!
J Wood Realty

The question about how do you feel about the price of the home is the funniest!  What agent, with a client seriously considering making an offer, would truly say that the house was fairly priced.  Ridiculous!

July 18, 2012 07:21 AM
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
The Ocala Dream Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty

Hi Mona, we agree. We also don't like the mls ability to schedule us for a showing.  What are we doing just sitting here twiddling our thumbs?

July 18, 2012 08:51 AM
Barbara Le Pine
S & W Real Estate, Newport OR
S & W Real Estate, serving Lincoln County

Mona, I will not reveal my buyers position or intentions as I never know if my buyers are intending to make an offer. I feel it is a confidentiality issue to answer most of the questions. I simply state, "Buyers are still looking, too soon to tell." Pricing the home properly is the listing agents homework, a matter of updating the CMA, along with viewing the competition on a regular basis. The only comments I will make are ones which directly affect my ability to get it sold, odors, debris, updating or obvious layout issues. I prefer to mark box "other" and make my comments accordingly.

The best thing about these auto reports is that I have stopped getting calls requesting feedback from listing agent 20 minutes after the showing while I am still on my tour with my buyers.

Please note: This was a fabulous blog subject, I enjoyed reading it! :) Have a pleasant real estate day!

July 18, 2012 10:42 AM
Bob Crane
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663
Woodland Management Service

Well Mona, at least you are getting a response, too bad that it is a useless response.  Sometimes I wonder if they even showed up when you get no response at all.

July 18, 2012 08:57 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time

I agree those are silly questions which result in silly answers.  As an Exclusive Buyers Agent I work for my client under a buyer rep agreement.  I am their fiduciary.  As such, I owe my BUYERS my undivided loyalty, confidentiality, etc. and I take the mantel of my fidicuary duties serious.  As such, I do not reply to the requests for feedback -- not at all.  I am not working for the sellers and have no desire to share ANY confidential information my clients may have mentioned to me about the property while we were touring.  The MLS and sadly many other agents don't seem to fathom what their fiduciary duties are to clients.  I run a business.  That business is a real estate office and I represent buyers -- NOT sellers.  I couldn't care less if the listing agent wants to pick my brain know what my clients thought relative to the seller's property.  It's none of their business, frankly.  My clients aren't "pricing" the seller's property for them.  If their listing agent couldn't get the price right and the place hasn't received any offers why is that my problemo or concern, or that of my clients??

July 18, 2012 04:41 PM
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Who knew that a pet peeve would get so much attention?  It's been fascinating reading the responses.  The only question (as a Buyer Agent) I don't mind answering would be concerning the "showing shape" of the house.  If the house is yucky filthy, smelly, in horrible disrepair, etc, I think both the agent and the seller need to be called on it.

As for positive feedback?  The only one that would make any difference would be an offer!  I've read all the responses today and really appreciate these insights.  To Bob Crane, I think you mean that if someone responds to the feedback questionnaire then it means they actually showed up at the property.  If that's not what you meant, please feel free to clarify further.

July 18, 2012 08:12 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Turning Houses into Homes
Home Point Real Estate

I find those automated things are cumbersome and waste my time.  If you call me I will gladly give you feed back.

July 18, 2012 08:38 PM
Bob Crane
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663
Woodland Management Service

Yes that's what I meant.

July 18, 2012 08:58 PM
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Gene, good to hear from you.  Voice to voice is more valuable, I agree.

Bob, thanks for checking back.  There are too many occasions, whether the house is vacant or occupied that the showing agent blows off the appointment and unless you follow up you might never know! Have a good day.

July 19, 2012 04:41 AM
Jill Sackler
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!"

If I get a survey, I'll politely take the time to respond but the best feedback is an offer. Who cares about anything else?

July 19, 2012 05:11 PM
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Hi Jill, ultimately it probably doesn't matter...most flaws in the listing should have been uncovered by the listing agent and dealt with...not as a reminder from showing agents.

July 19, 2012 05:23 PM
Tammie White
TW Realty Group, Franklin TN, South of Nashville
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net

Mona, while I like your questions a lot more, agents wouldn't take the time to complete them. I usually go to the comment section and skip the questions. I let the agent know what the buyers liked and what they didn't. I also let them know whether their seller's home is in the running. Because afterall, that's all they really want to know.

July 26, 2012 06:27 AM
Anonymous #49
David L. Mason

I'm a bit late to this party, because I only recently found it after a Bing search for "showing feedback questions."  While I've seen my share of vague and poorly worded questions, I shall also take a bit of a contrarian view from most of those expressed.

I have to say that feedback has some merit, especially when your seller clients don't believe what you are telling them about the deficiencies of their home.  Also, even though we've been in the business a while, we do occasionally miss things that would help a home sell more quickly.  True, an offer is oftentimes the absolute best feedback.  Even a low offer is an opportunity to negotiate!  However, if you haven't gotten an offer in, say, the first four weeks of the listing period, what do you tell the sellers?  If you haven't gotten 8-10 showings in the first four weeks, what do you tell your sellers?  Is it *always* a pricing issue, even if the comps seem to show otherwise?  Also, what if you, the listing agent, haven't visited the home for a while?  Suppose that some deficiency has crept in that hasn't been addressed, especially if the property is vacant.  You and your seller may want to know about that.

As a buyer agent, you do have to be circumspect about what you tell the listing agent, but does that mean that you shouldn't give ANY feedback?  I'll admit to copping a generic, "floorplan won't work for my folks," response on occasion.  Certainly, some flaws are inherent with a property and easily identified.  That's where our marketing and advertising skills come into play.  Some such flaws really can't be fixed without the sellers incurring substantial cost either through correction or a price reduction.  If the seller has confidence in that from multiple feedback responses it can help them address competitive over-pricing issues or condition issues much earlier in the process.  Who wants their home to sit on the market for a year with no offers?  How many of us have lost listings to other agents because of such issues?

For the rest of the questions, it sounds like those who craft such requests for feedback, also need some feedback on the choice and wording of the questions asked, as well as the "canned" responses provided.  There is value to having at least one free-form question to allow the buyer or agent to vent.  That being said, it might be very helpful to have a small set of very pertinent questions and responses that are truly meaningful, so that sellers can become educated on how their property is competing with others over the duration of the listing.  Unless the seller gets "unbiased" feedback from someone other than the listing agent, how else will they know what moves will work best for them, especially if its a *problem* listing?  It would seem that good feedback can help our seller clients sell more quickly and target more precisely the counter-productive issues that otherwise would escape them.


August 09, 2012 03:28 PM
Marianne Iamele
Class Act Realty, LLC

Thank You, David, I am so glad that someone else feels the same way that I do!!  Feedback is important, and I sometimes wonder why completing a questionnaire is such an issue.  I am more than happy to do that for other agents.

August 09, 2012 03:45 PM
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Tammie, that is really all the seller wants to know...is it in the running.  They really don't want to know that the buyers left because of dirty dishes or cat urine.

David, you said a mouthful and I appreciate you taking the time to do so.  Sometimes I will leave either feedback or just call the agent if there is an issue I'd want to know about that didn't exist when I took the listing.

Marianne, I don't think completing the questionnaire is a huge issue...I just think some of us have questionnaires that are completely useless.

August 10, 2012 05:00 AM
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Mona Gersky

GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
Ask me...we'll figure it out!
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