Sorry, Mr. Buyer (or Realtor), you can't see the house in 5 minutes!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX United Real Estate

I have this nice listing in Bethesda, MD that, for some reason, has been getting a lot of activity even though it's not cheap and it's not a "short sale" or foreclosure.  It's a normal, plain vanilla home sale. The reson it is a little surprosing that it is getting so much activity is because the list on it is over a million bucks.

I realize that's everyday stuff for some people but it's also in a neighborhood where, how do I put this delicately, people respect other people's privacy. They don't go barging in or calling at all hours.  They observe the courtesies of civil society.

Yet, for some reason, when people see a yard sign or something on the Internet they immediately want to take a look...and I mean immediately.  Even though I use a showing service and have it plainly listed in the MLS description, Realtors call me all the time with the "Can we see it in the next half hour?" question.  Or "my cleint is in front of the house, can we see it?"

NOOOOOO!  Call the showing service and pretend like you're someone wanting to show your own house. Give some notice. Allow that someone may be eating dinner or bathing the kids or just coming home from soccer practice.

Ditto to Buyers who are driving around and "just want to see" the house.

Yes, I want to help sell the house.  Yes. If you can afford to buy it (and aren't just driving around "dreaming") I would love to be able to help you buy it.  Let's pretend you're someone who wants to see your own house. Can I call you up from your driveway and ask to come in?

Oh, by the way, if there are no Open House signs or balloons or other indications that it's OK for you to just knowck on the door --- DON'T KNOCK ON THE DOOR! A family actually is living their life inside this house while trying to keep it in a condition Martha Stewart would envy and making plans to leave so you can view the home at your leisure. (True story: a couple just up an knocked on the door in the evening asking to see the house.  No warning. No Realtor.  No nothing. Just saw the sign.)

Selling or Buying a house is a stressful event.  We Realtors know this. Showing one's personal home, opening it up to virtually anyone who may or may not want to buy it is nail biting, white knuckling, hand wringing stressful. Let's try to make it a bit easier by giving a little notice and being a little nice about it.

Preparation is a virtue.

 

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Rainmaker
126,484
Kevin O'Shea
Coldwell Banker - White Plains, NY
White Plains, NY Real Estate

I agree with the no knocking on the door.  But in this market if they are in front of the house or have a client and are driving by, I try my best to accomodate. You never know where that one buyer is going to come from.

All the best!

Jun 08, 2008 04:20 PM #1
Rainmaker
46,013
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

So what is your "polite" response to these requests? I am always curious how others handle this. Not to other agents- but from prospective buyers sitting in the driveway?

Jun 08, 2008 04:20 PM #2
Rainer
153,537
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Kevin - I would think that especially in this market people have time to be courteous and give notice.  It's not like the house is going to go "off the market" in the next 5 minutes like the frenzy of several years ago. 

Sarah - I usually let then know that a family is living in the house, they should seek buyer representation or, if they would like me to show them the house we can meet tomorrow/whenever at whatever time. I think that there are a lot of people who are just impulsive.  Think about it.  Even if they see the house right now they'll probably want to sleep on it and they'll have to show financial ability whether through qualifying for a mortgage or by paying in cash.

Jun 08, 2008 04:27 PM #3
Rainmaker
447,121
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Ken~ Yes, people can be impulsive and caught up in the excitement.  You can't blame them for trying.  All you can do is follow the seller's showing instructions or sometimes even just ask the seller and see what they say at that time. 

Jun 08, 2008 04:35 PM #4
Rainer
88,902
Jimmy McCall
TheHappyCottage.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant

Ken,  Here is an honest post.  I taught a blogging 101 class last week and fear of what to write are always the barrier to start blogging.  I think this post is a perfect example of what any Realtor can write if they took time to read what you put in this post.  Thank you for the effort.  I hope you don't mind if I refer to it in future blogging classes?

Jun 08, 2008 06:16 PM #5
Rainmaker
524,788
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

I agree Ken.  We had that happen on Memorial day where someone just knocked on the door asked to see the house and then drove off when my husband asked them for a few minutes (I actually did a post about REALTOR courtesy following this incident).  Of course we want to sell the listings but there are real people living in the house and some simple thoughtfulness could make the process easier for all.

Jun 08, 2008 06:26 PM #6
Rainer
153,537
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Vickie -- as slow as things are moving I'm surprised anyone is excited about anything!  :-)

Jimmy -- I'm flattered.  Thank you for the kind comment and, of course, you can point any and everybody to the post.

Stacy-Ann -- Thank God!  I was beginning to think I was the only one this stuff happened to.

Jun 08, 2008 06:49 PM #7
Rainer
55,863
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

I can definitely understand your frustrations of this, especially in a large city.  Luckily in our city, you can be anywhere within 20 mins.  Kinda nice.

Jun 08, 2008 11:39 PM #8
Rainmaker
247,950
Mike Klijanowicz
Baltimore & Harford County Maryland - RE/MAX AMERICAN DREAM - Perry Hall, MD
#1 Baltimore & Harford County Maryland REMAX Agent

AMEN, I can't stand getting those calls from my sellers yelling at me about the "unprofessional" agents out there who want to get in the home in 5 minutes or less.  While I understand that sometimes you didn't know that the property was on the market (if it was just listed), but after it has been on for 2-3 months, why not call a day in advance or at least an hour???

Jun 10, 2008 08:13 PM #9
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Rainer
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Ken Montville

The MD Suburbs of DC
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