If an agent can't show your property, they won't be able to sell it!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90

The title of this post sounds so very simple.  Yet this is a concept that seems to elude some sellers.

Nearly two years ago, my office scheduled a visit with a qualified buyer and his family who came to our area to look at property.  The buyers were looking at upper-bracket homes and they had definite ideas about what they were looking for.

I called the listing agent of one home they wanted to see.  The agent rather sheepishly informed me that the seller hadn't given him a key yet and he couldn't provide access to the home's interior until the seller arrived the following week.  I informed him that my buyers were here for a weekend and they wanted to view the home as soon as possible.  The listing agent tried in vain, but he couldn't reach his client. 

I told my buyers they would have to wait perhaps five or six days and maybe make another 300 mile trip back to Madeline Island to see the property.  They were, to put it mildly, displeased.  They walked away from that first home and bought another one just a few miles away, priced at over $750,000.

That day, the seller of the first home missed out on a huge opportunity.  The seller waited nearly two years for a serious buyer to come along again.  And that seller's home recently received an offer considerably lower than if the home had been made available for showing in the first place.

This wasn't the only time I've encountered such a situation.  The story bears repeating.  Make your property available for showing or don't bother to put it on the market.  Buyers (and agents) find it irritating and frustrating when they cannot view a listing that is supposed to be available for purchase. 

 

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Comments 20 New Comment

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Rainer
43,687
Linsey Planeta
Your nullOC Real Estate Voicenull
M Realty

I love this post and would love to repost it on my outside blog Why Didn't My Home Sell?  So well said!  Can I do that?  I don't now the rePost rules that well. 

There is nothing like a real life story to illustrate the points we try to make every day!

August 17, 2008 12:51 AM
Ambassador
475,393
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Hi Eric...Like you we are in an area that most of our buyers have to travel to and for many it is at least about a 180 mile round trip.  When we cannot show a house to them when they want to see it, it can really make the difference in a sale or no sale just as in your case.

We are fortunate that we do not often have appointment only listings or ones where the lisitng agent has to accompany us.  That is the case in many areas and makes it very difficult at times.

Good reminder.

Kate

August 17, 2008 12:54 AM
Rainmaker
376,114
Eric Kodner
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
Madeline Island Realty

Linsey, I certainly don't mind if you "re-blog" this post or link to it.  I'm new to the re-blogging rules as well, but I plan to check them out.

I keep running into clients who overlook this very simple principle.  How are we supposed to sell a property if it's not available for showing??

August 17, 2008 12:54 AM
Ambassador
1,139,784
Paul Henderson
I always put my clients first in any transaction!
RE/MAX Professionals.

Great post, Eric. I ask this question all the time. Mostly when the home expires. The other agent is usually a relative...

August 17, 2008 12:58 AM
Rainer
15,814
Claudia Efthimos
GRI,SFR,ASP,SRES
Signature Homes & Estates

Ditto, Ditto, DITTO!!   Be happy at least you reached the agent. It is also totally embarassing when you can't get a reply from the agent. Maybe if they deducted $50. from their Connission for each offense & they ended up with a $10. commission, they would WAKE UP. This business is not just throwing up a sign and going on to the next deal.

August 17, 2008 01:00 AM
Rainmaker
213,447
Sherry Scales
Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas
Austin Texas Homes, LLC

I don't know whether agents are so excited to have a listing they loose all sense of responsibility or what!  I wouldn't put a home active in the system until I had a sign out, lockbox with Key on the door first. (Ask me why I do that?)  I just cringe when I see a listing that the listing agent has to attend. They are usually so busy they just can't make it...Then get another agent in your office, but make an effort! You aren't looking out for your clients best interest by not showing the home... Good post!

August 17, 2008 01:05 AM
Rainmaker
332,294
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Kate,

It just made me cringe to have to tell that couple they couldn't see the house they wanted.  Among other things, it's a "standard of practice" issue.  The agent probably should have told his client, "we need a lockbox or a key in our office, or we can't list your property". 

The Wisconsin "Exclusive Right to Sell" contract clearly states that the seller is to cooperate fully with showings.  Maybe the listing agent didn't bother to review that portion of the document with his client at the time it was signed! 

August 17, 2008 01:09 AM
Rainmaker
332,294
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Paul, I encounter this situation at least a couple of times each year.  Is it "seller remorse" or what?

August 17, 2008 01:11 AM
Rainmaker
332,294
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Claudia, I'm not sure it was entirely the agent's fault.  Some clients just don't seem to understand that their property is to be available for showings once the listing period commences.

You can fine the agent, but that may not solve the problem of the seller who arbitrarily decides not to cooperate with access to their property.

August 17, 2008 01:14 AM
Rainmaker
332,294
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Sherry, the seller in my story probably lost well over $100,000 (and two years wasted time) by failing to give access to my buyer clients.  How sad is that?

August 17, 2008 01:17 AM
Rainer
87,398
Aaron Cullen
Folsom, El Dorado Hills & Sacramento Real Estate &
Brokers Inc. Residential Real estate

Eric, this was the story several times while showing homes this week.  It never ceases to amaze me how this can happen over and over again...

August 17, 2008 01:26 AM
Rainer
15,814
Claudia Efthimos
GRI,SFR,ASP,SRES
Signature Homes & Estates

ERIC:    I didn't see anything in the Post that said it wasn't officially listed, and assumed it was.

               I have turned down agents BEFORE the listing commences.

August 17, 2008 01:33 AM
Rainer
82,655
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C.

I guess some people really just don't want to sell, because if you think about it thats basically the path they chose to go down... Make sure the Agent has the key and everything is good to go, or leave town with the keys and sit on it for who knows how long.... Luckily it worked out for you and your clients and they were able to find another home that they ended up purchasing :-D

August 17, 2008 01:40 AM
Rainmaker
536,368
Lynda Eisenmann
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co
Preferred Home Brokers

Hi Chris,

One of my favorite sayings is "If you can't see it you can't sell it...".The first time I heard that was from Barb Schwarz (the original stager from the mid-80's). She used to walk people out to front of their house overgrown by everything and use that statement.

That's something I still use to educate my sellers today when it comes to restricting showings.

August 17, 2008 01:45 AM
Rainmaker
652,546
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Benjamin Realty LLC

We see this sort of thing happen all the time-- recently we had Canadian buyers in town who would buy on the weekend they were here -- and we tried and tried to show them a home they thought they wants to see -- but there was no way to be able to do that. The seller "wanted the prospective buyer to come back in 3 days". Needless to say the buyer bought something else.

August 17, 2008 02:29 AM
Rainmaker
891,596
Michael Setunsky
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Michael's Commercial LLC

Opportunity knocks once and if you aren't ready, it will pass you by as your experience proved. I'm sure the sellers and the agent learned a valuable lesson here.

August 17, 2008 09:07 AM
Rainmaker
271,484
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966
Real E Smarter

Eric, I can appreciate the concept and agree, but also I have had this situation and I had listing paperwork so i had to list it, but the landlord was slow to getting me a key. But yes the seller must realize itw ill cause loss.

August 17, 2008 11:34 AM
Rainmaker
217,645
Joan Mirantz
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire
Homequest Real Estate

I just don't understand in this Market, how a Seller wouldn't be bending over backwards to accommodate...some still don't get it!

August 17, 2008 09:16 PM
Rainmaker
35,625
Greg Dallaire
Green Bay Homes
Dallaire Realty

I see this in Green Bay from time to time it's extremely discouraging.  I had to cancel a listing one time because my seller was not reasonable about showings only wanted them on the weekends after the first two showings didn't result in an offer. 

Hopefully you don't run into that very often.

August 21, 2008 08:21 PM
Rainer
48,135
Eric Webster
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty
Five Star Real Estate

Eric,

Great reminder. I cannot tell you how many times over the years, that at the closing table, I've asked the seller if they were glad that I talked them into letting me bring a buyer through when they had one reason or another that it wasn't a great time for a showing.

The other quote that I love is from Barb Schwarz (sp?)... "If you can smell it, you can't sell it".

Eric

September 07, 2008 02:13 PM
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Rainmaker
376,114

Eric Kodner

CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
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LaPointe, WI 54850
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La Pointe, WI 54850
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$399,000
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LaPointe, WI 54850
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$355,000
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727 South Shore Road
La Pointe, WI 54850
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$160,000
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2647 North Shore Road
LaPointe, WI 54850
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$198,800
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951 Snow Place Lane
LaPointe, WI 54850
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Eric M Kodner

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