Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Agent to Meet? Or Not to Meet? That is the Question.

I've been showing homes to an out of town couple around the $2 million price point over the past few weeks. Each time we view approximately 6 to 8 homes. I give at least 24 hours notice as most of these properties are "agent to meet"...the last thing any Realtor wants to see in the showing instructions section for any listing. I'm not exaggerating when I say at least 5 of the agents attempt to reschedule the 30 minute time frame I give them because they "can't make it at the time we've requested".

On the surface that sounds fair but you have to look at it from a buyer's point of view - and their agent's. When you're looking at 8 homes from Russwood Acres to Jan-Mar to Bluffview to Greenway Parks to UP/HP the listing agents should be THRILLED that I only gave them a 30 minute time frame. Let me give you an example you probably won't care much about. And that's ok. This is my own form of therapy time so let me have it, dammit! :)

You have to have a starting point so let's pick Jan-Mar (Royal and Hillcrest) at 11am. From there we're heading to Russwood Acres (Royal and Midway). Then down to Bluffview and Greenway Parks. And shoot across the toll road to the Park Cities. We'll probably end around 2pm.

But...The first agent can only meet me at 1pm so we'll need to reschedule that one. But then what about the other home in Jan-Mar we just scheduled with the other listing agent for 11:30am? I guess we can move her to 1:30pm.

And then...The second agent can't do 1:30pm because she has a massage appointment.

And then...Both of the Russwood Acres homes we want to see are having an Open House from 2pm to 4pm so it would be nice if we could reschedule our times to view the homes at that time instead of from 12pm to 1pm.

So now...I have to call the Greenway Parks listing agents and the Park Cities agents to reschedule with them and hope they can make the new appointment time after they've probably already made plans.

You see what I'm getting at. It's a pain in the arse and we typically have to cancel at least 2 of the homes on our orginal list because the agents can't meet us to show the home.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of "agent to meet" showings. They are pointless and my buyers find the listing agents more distracting than helpful as they prattle on about how "special" their listing is while following us from room to room.

In my opinion, no home in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow areas under $3 million is special enough to require a Realtor's presence at the home when it is being shown. If you want to brag about the special features of your listing then open up Microsoft Word and prove it by placing an information sheet in the home. You running your yapper and rattling off the 1,000 special things about this home is lost on every buyer that walks through the front door. I don't care if Lambert's did the lawn or the guy standing by the DART bus stop. If it looks nice then it looks nice. That is not a special feature of any home.

The saddest and most important part of all this is that sellers of these homes will never know someone tried to show their $1.8 million dollar home. No wonder it has been on the market for 178 days. I mean seriously, do you think the listing agent will tell their sellers they couldn't make the showing because they were too busy? I didn't think so.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stupid Realtor Comment of the Day: Virtual Tour vs. Multiple Photos Edition

A real estate agent posted the following comment on this post - anonymously of course - saying that virtual tours are a must and that I am a fool for thinking otherwise and need to consult with the Almighty Google to reinforce my foolishness. (My comments are in italics.)


A prospect has pictures in the MLS to view anyway. Really!?!?!?!?

Adding a virtual tour gives them the sense of being there. Kay....

The Real Question to ask is: If you found a house you thought you really wanted to see, that truly caught your interest, and that exact same house had two viewing options one had pictures only and the other had pictures and a virtual tour would you pass up the virtual tour? The answer would be emphatically NO! This is your question. Not mine. This is also a stupid example.

The virtual tour connects all the dots. What dots are you referring to?

Sure it takes more time then looking through A dozen pictures and less convenient...IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN THOSE HOMES. But when you find the one you want. You take that virtual tour and call your husband and email your kids and let your friends see it to get their opinion, not 15 pictures. Not sure where to begin with this one...

I know, because that's exactly what my buyer and seller clients have told me. What do seller's have to do with virtual tours?

Virtual tours are priceless, just ask Google you fool. Ouch. *crying*
Look Anonymous, if that is your real name, before you go around calling people "fools" you should brush up on your reading comprehension and pay more attention to the logic behind your argument.

As I said in my post, the purpose of online photos and virtual tours are to attract potential buyers and to make them want to view the property in person with their agent. The "real question", as you so eloquently put it, isn't whether or not people will view a virtual tour of a home they are interested in. That's a stupid question. OF COURSE A POTENTIAL BUYER WILL VIEW A VIRTUAL TOUR OF A HOME THEY LIKE BECAUSE THEY LIKED THE 15 PICTURES THEY CLICKED ON SECONDS BEFORE!

Please do the real estate profession a favor and send your license back your local and state associations.


Jeff Duffey