Yes, I DO!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty

No not that that kind of "I Do"!                                                                                              But as a listing agent I do make my own appointments!                                                      

Every once in a while, when I'm talking with another real estate agent, the subject of appointments comes up.   When I say that I always - yes, always - make my own appointments, I can almost predict what will happen. The eyes widen, the brow furrows, there's a quick intake of breath, and then, "You're kidding!"

No, I'm not. "But doesn't it waste your time?" they ask.

Showing the wrong house to the wrong buyer, that wastes my time. Making my own appointments saves time and aggravation for me and my sellers. How can this one task make a big difference? (And it also saves time on follow up.) 

Here are just a few of the issues that I can and do clear up while making appointments on my listings. And yes, I've actually had all of these and more:

Mismatches:

  •  The condo restricts pets; they have a dog and a cat. No, you can't sneak them in.
  • The prospective buyer is 93 years old, and the unit I have listed is on the top floor. There are no elevators.
  • A condo with no balcony - not a good match for someone with claustrophobia.
  • A penthouse unit - a bad idea for someone afraid of heights.

  • The buyer is a wheel chair user. Would you at least remind them, it's split-level house?

 

The family wants all bedrooms on the same level. Are you sure you want to show this Cape Cod?

Missing Information:

  • The buyers haven't put their home on the market yet because they want to wait until they find something they like. What's the chance I could be showing them a house they can't afford because the seller will not take a contingency.
  • My listing is a co-op. The by-laws require the unit must be purchased for cash - there can be no mortgage. If we haven't discussed this first, it would be no surprise when the buyer asks if the monthly fee "includes the mortgage payment."
  • My client's condo has high monthly fees. The prospective buyer didn't ask before seeing the property (and his agent didn't tell, obviously). Then he asks if we can negotiate the fees down along with the price. Um...sure, right along with the property taxes.   

 

 And then there are the "must or must not haves":

                                 

The fireplace must be wood burning. The fireplace must be gas. We only want a pellet stove. We don't want a fireplace - it's not safe.

 

 

  • Must have a swimming pool. Absolutely no swimming pool!
  • The house must be on a main road with sidewalks and nearby neighbors. No, the house must be secluded, away from prying neighbors. No cul de sacs. No shared driveways.
  • The townhouse kitchen has to be at the front so I don't have to schlep groceries through the house. Who wants a kitchen at the front? We need a kitchen in the back so we can walk out on the deck.
  • Must have gas heat, must have oil heat, must have a heat pump.

And on and on. You get the idea. There are so many ways that well-meaning  sellers, agents and prospective buyers can waste their time and energy. Over the years I've learned that the one best way to eliminate these issues is to make my own appointments and ask the questions up front. That way I can assure sellers that more qualified buyers will be visiting their home.

Good buyer's agents appreciate my telling them about the pros and cons of the properties and frequently when they share their buyer's need; I may have another coming on the market. Or how about we run an "ad" for your buyer on  http://www.buyers4yourhome.com/ ?

So yes, I do

Baltimore,Md.

 

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Nancy J
Thanks Broker Bryant for clarifying that I am a consumer. My appologies. I did not mean to mislead anyone. I just saw an opportunity to educate; and I hope to see a future thread about the real estate industry and people with disabilities. Have a great day all.
Feb 11, 2007 06:31 AM #38
Rainer
202,286
James Gordon
Sibcy Cline Realtors® - Cincinnati, OH
REALTOR, PBD SFR SRS
The only problem with scheduling showings on your own listings is that you need to be available 7 days a week. I had a property that was only scheduled by the listing agent and tried to get in for one of my clients. The listing agent called me back 2 days later and asked if we wanted to see the home. My client already had an accepted contract on one of the other homes we saw. Was this servicing her listing I think not! 
Feb 11, 2007 06:48 AM #39
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Nancy, thank you for emailing off AR and here is my resonse to you that I wanted to share.

"Please don't apologize. You are certainly not cluttering! I am hoping that we can have a forum for consumers like you. I think you have added so much to the group. I welcome your comments. After all it is you, the buyer and seller, that can teach us how to be better agents. For that I am grateful. You are welcome anytime to comment on my post and I would be honored. The consumer group would have to be monitored for problems like you bring up. I would be delighted to have you post this message on my blog. In the mean time if you write about wheelchair users, I would be happy to publish the post with your permission. And my phone number 410-530-2400 is still open for you to call me.

I will now go take a look at Chris's comment.

 Here is one of my mottos:

"Don't let unimportant things or unimportant people become important!"

You, Nancy, are important.

Thanks so much for writing.

Margaret

Feb 11, 2007 06:59 AM #40
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
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James, Those of us who do make our own appointments are  available to our sellers. Making appointments is a big service that we provide.  There are times when the office is NOT open or someone has stepped away from the duty desk etc. The appointment systems are not available 24/7!

This past week, I played 'Buyer Agent" made 7 appointments to show a friend who was moving from Ca. The process was not an easy one.   On one of the appointments, they had to call the owner. The owner said not today, the dogs are out no showings today. THen I get a call from the listing agent. "why aren't you showing the property?"  I asked if we could go in and she said: " well not if you were told not to."  UHHH...ok.

 Another home had a lockbox, the agent was from another part of the state and had his keybox programed for his area. My code would not work.  This agent said " You have a problem, you should have your box keyed to "our" area". This vacant propert has been on the market for over 200 days.

Another office just gave out the lockbox combo information, without even asking my name.

 

James, I will continue to make my own appointments!

Feb 11, 2007 07:31 AM #41
Rainmaker
363,035
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
Margaret -- thanks for thought...  I don't write for Gold Stars, I write for the audience I am trying to reach.  I did it again this morning...   You were so right, do what you do for thank yous, the rest will follow...
Feb 11, 2007 07:45 AM #42
Rainmaker
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Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Margaret your shining this morning:)
Feb 11, 2007 08:01 AM #43
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"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
:)
Feb 11, 2007 08:21 AM #44
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
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If you 3(Colleen,BB,TLW) are trying to make my day, consider it a success!
Feb 11, 2007 10:56 AM #45
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Hi Margaret, I'm a little green, but do you go to show your listings when another agent is showing his client the home? I thought as long as the other agent called first to see if they could go and see the listing, and it was ok with the owner, I didn't have to be there. I am still waiting to get that first listing, but I want to do what is right, so should I always be present when another agent is showing a listing of mine?
Feb 12, 2007 09:29 PM #46
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
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I make ALL of my own appointments and I show many of them. It will be easier for me to explain this so I am going to call you right now!

Enjoyed speaking with you, Michael, and explaining how I work. Wishing you success and welcome to the rain. There is so much good information here for all of us!

 

Feb 13, 2007 01:49 PM #47
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
I enjoyed talking with you too! I can see why you have a radio show, you have a very nice voice and I hope I can remember to catch it one of these Sunday mornings. Thank You for the time on the land-line, I greatly appreciate the time and information you gave me! Best Regards, 
Feb 13, 2007 01:57 PM #48
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Michael, My pleasure! Thanks for the kind words. It helps to love what you do and I do!

Feb 13, 2007 02:39 PM #49
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Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

'Appreciate your comments on my blog "Are these homebuyers for real?" and yes, you certainly may link to it.  My post and yours come at the issue from different angles but they do complement each other.

 

Apr 08, 2007 02:22 PM #50
Rainmaker
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

IN theory, I agree with the idea that the listing agent might be the best appointment-setter, but in reality (here in Denver at least), whenever I have to call the agent to set a showing, that listing goes to the bottom of the pile. Why? Due to the reasons mentioned - the agent doesn't answer the phone and if she does, she almost ALWAYS wants to call me back later because it's an inconvenient time. OR, what really gets on my nerves, is she insists on telling me all about the house, all the special features, how motivated the seller is, etc. none of which I care about until I've seen the house - in fact, I'm sure I won't even remember all her helpful commentary. When I'm setting showings, I want to get it done efficiently, not talk to 10 listing agents, all desperate to sell their listings.

Again, if it's handled professionally, no problem, but here, at least, it never is. Because we do have showing services available, it's considered sub-service (read: one-man shop too cheap to hire a service) to have to call the listing agent directly for showings.

That said, this is a helpful post for me because my agent in Alabama told me she sets all her own showings, as if it were a benefit to me and I was horrified. Now I understand her approach.

Thanks for sending me this way!

Apr 05, 2008 07:34 AM #51
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jennifer, Thanks for taking time to comment.

This is how I make it work.

By making all my own appointments, the buyer agent only makes one phone call. I am available 7 days and "my" office is not closed  for appointments. 

Agents don't get put on hold and wait for these messages:  "I have to call the listing agent for the alarm code and dog restrictions." or  "the showing instructions say "call the agent" or "I can't reach the agent"  or " I can't find that property in the system" or the office or  the CSS line is busy.

 It is Saturday morning and I have just set 3 appointments. Agents know when it is my listing, the process is very easy. One of the listings that I was near, I stopped by and opened the house for the agent with lights, shades etc. Saved her time and she was able to spend that time with her clients. I was on to my next appointment.

Note: my sellers are real people,some with special needs, illness, some with several small children etc. For me, I am the only one who communicates with the owners.

When I take the call, I am the one who can give them the security code, or the location of the lockbox, or any other instructions to make it easy and pleasant..

 

 

 

Apr 05, 2008 10:02 AM #52
Rainmaker
1,208,289
Evelyn Johnston
Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Super Agent, Probably the Best Agent in the Galaxy

Well, this certainly makes sense to pre-screen your buyers, whether yours or others!

Jan 05, 2009 06:26 AM #53
Rainmaker
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Christine Pappas
RE/MAX Results - Willoughby, OH
Northeast Ohio Homes - Ohio RE/MAX REALTOR

Thank you very much Margaret for helping me find this!!!!  You are a rare breed that actually answers their phone.  My post really had nothing to do with setting your own appointments or not.  What I have found is that in my area, the agents who are not using a service are simply not delivering any service to their sellers.  They are not answering their phones for appointments or even calling back to confirm appointments.  So I am now at the point where I do cringe every time I see a "call agent for showings".    And I respect those agents who prefer to set and confirm their own appointments, simply put though, do just that.  

Anyway, thank you for sharing with me and it has been great getting to know you!  Hope to interact more and more!

Christine

 

Sep 20, 2010 02:29 PM #54
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Evelyn, Oops a bit late getting back to you.

Christine, This post is over three years old and still is the way I do business. You are a delight and so was your post. BTW your comment above would make another good blog.

Margaret

Sep 20, 2010 02:44 PM #55
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Lynn B. Friedman
- - - Concierge Real Estate Services for YOU - - - Providing SERVICE for Sellers & Buyers is our BUSINESS - Atlanta, GA
REALTOR ATL BuckheadMidtownWestside 404.939.2727

Dear Margaret  -

Thanks for the link to this post when you commented on the http://activerain.com/blogsview/2249806/are-agents-too-busy-to-be-careful-.  

I always learn when I read your posts.  

Glenda (#22) said "many times the person you speak with has never seen the house".  Just did a short sale with a two-person team of agents and when something was removed from the house between inspection and Closing - the one I was supposed to deal with on the Listing team didn't even know what it was!  She had NEVER once visited the home!

No - not a small item - a stage - a performing stage that had been built-in the media room and the Seller sold it on Craig's List!

End of the story - he recarpeted the area and the Buyer was satisfied but the point is --- how can you be 50% of a listing team and NEVER once visit the listing?

Doubt Margaret Rome would have done that!

Have a happy day -
Lynn 

Apr 18, 2011 12:32 AM #56
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Lynn, Thanks for bringing this post from 2007 back to life. Margaret Rome would NOT have done that!

Apr 05, 2013 03:20 AM #57
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