i did a lot of homework on my own, so there were many "drive-bys" that i did without troubling an agent or the seller -- but this was also for my benefit, as i wasn't moving far from my last home and could evaluate a bunch of houses in a couple hours after work. for someone relying more heavily on an agent or moving from farther away, this isn't always possible or convenient.
for me, i knew what i wanted, but there were enough intangibles about it that it was difficult to articulate clearly. so many homes that seemed to fit the bill just didn't when i saw them. when i saw the house i ultimately bought, i knew right away. liked it from the curb, went through it on a friday evening, again on sunday and made a bid on monday.
there's a lot to selecting a place to call home and a big part of it isn't rational, so while there may be a number of folks out there who aren't really serious or qualified, it might just be that they don't see themselves living there for reasons that having nothing to do with seriousness or qualifications.
i think the pros here have made some excellent points about showing and price, but thought my buyer's perspective might be useful to you.
hang in there! good luck!
Realtors should always have buyers approved before they start showing homes.
*Please understand that calling another Realtor to see if the buyer is really approved can create friction that could potentially affect things later should they be interested in your home. This is just to inform you as to why some may choose not to verify.
Your Realtor can put in the MLS showing instructions that all buyers must be pre-approved before showing the home, and if this is violated the Realtor showing the unapproved buyers is subject to discipline. Myself as the listing agent, if I am familiar or have done business in the past with a Realtor, I will trust that they are doing the job correctly. If I know the Realtor is newer or inexperienced (few transactions) I will require verification so the seller's time is not wasted.
Your frustration is understandable, and because the market is so sluggish, selling takes awhile. So all the preparation and cleaning is helping to show your home at its best, and your listing agent is advertising it, holding open houses, and keeping up with your competition. It's a team effort. The agents showing the house are hoping for a sale, too... believe me. Many houses are not getting any appointments... at least you have showings and activity. When an agent doesn't bother to show up, or his buyer refuses to go in the house (steep driveway? busy road?) he should call the listing office number to cancel and explain why. Good luck with your sale... it sounds as though you have a great house.. and hopefully someone will love it and buy it soon! Joanne Malo, Prudential Fox& Roach, Malvern. 484-432-6826
In the down economy, most anyone who is bored on a Sunday could call 10 agents and ask to see a multiple homes, and 8 of those agents wouldn't even ask your name. They're hungry for business and therefore will gladly play taxi cab for most anyone who calls with the hope that something might come from it.
I wish I could honestly tell you what you're experiencing is the exception rather than the rule, but I can't. You can't control what agents (other than your own) do or how they run their business which makes things very frustrating. Hopefully, your agent told you what I tell all my sellers. Selling a home is more often than not a royal pain in the rear because there are so many different people involved...buyers, buyer agent, inspector, lender, title company / attorney, etc., and one of them can cause a problem in a transaction.
It is a profesional courtesy to call the owner if the buyer's plans have changed and they decided not to look at a home that was already scheduled for a viewing. As you now know, one person's perception of professionalism differs vastly from another's.
I would also echo the questions about pricing. Ask your agent for information on the absorption rate in your area and price range. That will tell you how long it will take to sell all of the homes currently for sale and give you an idea of your time to sell. You might need to make some changes. Listen to your real estate professional and if you aren't getting good answers or ideas tell them they aren't meeting your expectations and see what they can do to make changes. Selling a home takes coordination and cooperation from seller and agent.
Definitely, your attention to detail should be commended as you are doing everything you possibly can to sell your house and help your listing agent, which is great! Seller cooperation is what every listing agent needs and wants. Keep in mind though, the most important thing about your house is the PRICE so i hope you are priced correctly and competitively since ultimately that is what will bring the buyers into your house and get them interested. I'm not in Philly but I'm sure there's alot of competition on the market. Your house should not only be the best looking in the price range, it should be the lowest priced home out of all the comps. And by lowest priced, i don't mean a few thousand dollars but something substantial to get buyers excited. For instance, if all the other houses similar to yours in age, size, and neighborhood average 350k...you should be a good 10k - 15k cheaper and the lowest comp. That will give you a competitive edge and get the buyers in the door. No one is going to pay you more money because you washed your windows....clean windows are great but you may be focusing on the wrong thing.
Also, try not to obsess or get completely anal about the showings. Keep your home nice and clean but if it looks a bit lived in, that's OK! And you have have to expect that some showings are just looky-loos, some may be not qualified, and some may not be even ready to buy but you still got to let them look if you want as mayny opportunities as possible to sell your home. That's just the way it is and you have to accept that. Think about it, if you owned a clothing store are you going to grill each and every person that walks through the door and demand to see their money or credit card balance? No, of course not! That would be ridiculous and after a while, no one would want to go near your store no matter what you had in there. Same thing goes with your house! I'm sure the showing agents try their best to qualify their buyers as they don't want to waste thier time either but you cannot alienate your client or come off demanding or else they are going to go elsewhere. It's a delicate balance.
My advice to you is to continue to cooperate with the showings and keep the house tidy but you don't have to go overboard like you have been! Stick the dog in the garage or for a walk but he doesn't have to go to doggie daycare...that's a bit crazy! Lighten up a bit, make sure your pricing is the lowest around, and you are bound to get some bites. And the bottom line is that no matter how low you think you have priced your house, if no one is making an offer....it's still not low enough!!!!!!
I have also represented buyers who, at the last minute, have had to cancel appointments or decided when they arrived at the home that they didn't like the street, or the neighborhood, or the big oak tree in the back yard. I always try to keep the listing agent in the loop when a buyer cancels an appointment and try to let the seller know. When the buyer decides not to enter a listing, I will go in and leave my card to indicate we were there and will provide showing feedback to the listing agent.
If you are not getting enough showings or enough offers, you need to have that discussion with your listing agent. You may want to review the pricing of your home as compared to recently sold homes in the area, review the feedback left by buyer agents and find out what the buyers who visited your home liked and disliked.
It is highly unusual for a buyer's agent to show homes that they know the buyer can't afford to buy (though I wouldn't say it never happens). I think an effective strategy for you though is to have the honest and straightforward discussion with your own agent about why your house is not attracting buyers and offers.
Wish you all the best. I hope that is helpful
Keller WIlliams Real Estate
Exton, PA 19341
Office: (610) 363-4300
Mobile: (484) 948-0936
Some realtors are the few bad apples in the barrel.
Realtors may not consider canceling an appt. notify the home owner .
Recommend WHEN you see a car pull then vacate home other than that hang there a Realtor may not show up.
I understand frustrations.
National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
I know that selling the home you're living in is stressful, but I ask my sellers to just make the best of it, prepare and act as if every visitor is THE ONE, and repeat until closing.
Since the other responders addressed your showing concerns, I would like to address the issue of time on the market and lack of offers. From your description, appears your house has been on the market quite some time. You say the last buyer didn't appear to even enter the house.
When this is the case, it is usually because there is a strong disconnect between what the buyer thought he would be seeing and what actually is. Have you taken an objective look at your home from the outside? If you cannot be objective, ask a friend or family member to do it for you. If the outside appearance does not correlate to the asking price, buyers will balk at entering. While a realtor can "drag" a client inside, it is hard to overcome that first impression. If there are exterior issues beyond your control, i.e. unattractive neighborhood, your price has to reflect it. If the issues are within you control, fix them or adjust your price accordingly. It may actually take a combination of both to attract the qualified buyer.
Did your realtor give you feedback from buyers agents who showed the house? If not, make sure she does then heed what the buyers are saying.