My husband and I are currently in the process of finding a house to accommodate our future growing family. The process has been challenging as the market we are in is currently a seller’s market (at least for the types of homes we are after). As we are relatively new to the process, we came across some interesting practices by listing agents that I hope, by sharing them with you, will keep you from making a mistake that could hurt your clients’ chances of making a quicker sale.
In just one week, I uncovered three different listing agent mistakes that could take away from a successful sale for your listing client.
Listing Mistake #1: Not Taking Down Information
Mid-century modern is all the rage in Dallas for couples like us, and the shortage of homes in our price range and desired areas seem to be the norm. Driving around one neighborhood in particular after an unsuccessful open house, we came upon a soon-to-be-listed property that seemed perfect.
We called the real estate agent whose name was on the “coming soon” sign and were taken aback by this first listing mistake: not taking down our information.
Understanding that she may have been preoccupied with her weekend and that she may have had limited information, we were totally fine with her not knowing the details we’d hoped to get from her. However, after a short two minutes of questions, she abruptly hung up. No inquiry into what we were looking for, no asking for our contact information and no offer to let us know when the house would be on the market.
Seeing as this house appeared to meet all of our criteria, we’d be amiss not to pursue it anyway. However, if we ended up finding a house that was pretty close but knew more about right away, we might be more inclined to take that one.
Listing Mistake #2: Not Knowing Enough about the Property
Not to harp on this poor agent, but she committed what I thought was a second mistake: having super limited information about the property. It’s forgivable to have a bit less information than what the eventual listing will provide as well as to feel compelled to keep it under wraps until then. What’s the harm in disclosing anything that could make a sale more quickly, though?
We asked questions about the builder, the expected listing date, square footage, if it was green, pretty basic questions in our eyes. However, her lack of disclosure, knowledge and interest in the property led us to feel that working with her would be a nightmare.
Listing Mistake #3: Sharing Too Much Information
In that same neighborhood, we attended an open house led by an affable fellow. He seemed excited to show off the house. However, we thought, a little too excited. He shared not only his thoughts on what was great about the house but also what was not. Even though we started the conversation, he seemed to jump onto the “yeah, this house is okay, if only…” bandwagon a little too fast and a little too enthusiastically.
While we weren’t impressed by some of the features, a diplomatic approach may have been better. After all, that same Realtor’s team had other homes listed. It left a little bit of a bad taste in our mouth. I certainly don’t advocate dishonesty, but a little discretion at least makes the home buying experience palatable, especially after a disappointing look through what seemed like the hundredth property we’d seen.
One way that the agent could have helped would have been to ask us what we were looking for and to offer to send our agent properties he thought would have been a good fit. Alternatively, or additionally, a simple acknowledgement of what we did not like about the house then some soft selling of other properties would have been more helpful.
Forgive the rant, but as an active home buyer, I hope this advice helps you and your team. Remember that, while listing and getting a sale is one thing, you have to follow some steps and build relationships along the way, no matter how busy you are or how trivial the question is. You never know when that simple inquiry or comment could be turned around into a sale that could make your listing client happy!