Do buyers do all the searching these days? Don't agents drive buyers around looking anymore?

Asked by Home Seller, Cecil, PA Tue Apr 7, 2009

I haven't had one agent bring a buyer into my house. Don't they have a database of people looking for a particular house and when one goes on the market, they bring them over? I'm shocked at the lack of calls or visits. What is the secret to getting someone in the door? Price, location, everything is great.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Brian Teyssi…, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Thank you for your question. I am from Cecil, the Fleeher Plan to be exact. There are a ton of factors that bring people in the door. The biggest being PRICE! If it is priced out of the market, it will not be shown becuase buyers that have agents working for them are usually set up on an automatic MLS search that e-mails the buyers properties that meet their criteria. For example, if your house's market value is $250k but you have your agent "test the waters" or demand they price it too high, it will not meet buyer's criteria and they will never get the listing e-mailed to them, thus they will never see it and you will not get any traffic.

NAR says that before the internet, buyers contracted an agent then the agent showed them homes. Now it is the opposite, buyers search the internet with the automated MLS search, Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist and others then contact the agent.

I could offer a better opinion if I could see your property. Hope this helps a little.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Dear Home
I find it interesting that you are blaming the Realtors for being lazy as the reason you do not have showing activity.

You might want to read the Trulia link below. ONE home sold recently, with over 2900 homes on the market. That means that the odds of your home selling are ONE in 3000.

So let's put the responsibility where it belongs. Did you hire a Realtor to sell your home, or just list it, and I'll sell if I get my price?

The homes that sell in this economy need to scream VALUE. Buyers need to think "I'd be dumb not to buy this house".

Surveys show that most buyers shop online first. Then they contact a Realtor to show them homes, and then they buy. Is your home listed on Trulia? How many views did it have last week? THAT stat is your showing figure.

Since your home hit the market, how many homes, like yours, have:
come on to the market
Entered escrow

You are going to need to price your home at a point where it probably hurts. But the goal of moving must be greater than the pain of selling....or take it off the market and stop complaining. This is not a market for "like to" sellers. It is a market of "have to " sellers.

Sorry to be so direct, but that is the way it is.
3 votes
Melissa Stahl, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Fri Apr 10, 2009
Buyer's preferences. I had a listing for 30 days, had 25 showings and got 4 very interested buyers. The property sold twice (first deal fell through on Friday due to buyer's financial situation changing) and got new contract on Saturday. Two miles down the road, my second listing is priced $15,000 less, more square foot, same condition but has an above ground pool. We have had 2 calls looking for additional info, but not one showing request in 6 months. Based on comps, this property is priced correctly and the seller was offering a 12 month warranty.

My office usually does an "Office Inspection" on each of our listings where all of our agents tour through the home when it's first listed. This allows us a few extra eyes on the property to make sure nothing stands out that would prevent the home from selling. Also gives them the best opportunity to determine if they have clients that are looking for a property with the same criteria. Sometimes we are able to sell the home quickly this way.

It may get discouraging when you don't get a lot of calls, just remember, it only takes one buyer.

Good luck,
1 vote
Dana Schuster, Agent, Slidell, LA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
I won't take anyone around anymore who has not pre-qualified. With credit tightening up,it's a waste of everyone's time to show a house to someone who can't buy. And i find most of my potential buyers have done their homework ahead of time via the internet. I can use the MLS & e-mail to select out houses that don't meet their criteria. What would have entailed a whole day's driving around years ago can be accomplished by going online.
1 vote
Eileen Musser…, Home Owner, York, PA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Lots of sellers seem to be lamenting the fact that strangers aren't streaming through their homes. Seems to me that might be a good thing!

Maybe an example would be instructive.

This evening I wrapped up a deal on a home for a family from out of town.

First I sent them dozens and dozens of listings and they searched on line for weeks. ( they live an hour away)

Next, they scheduled a three day trip to the area and selected their six favorite homes of the hundreds I had sent via email for their consideration. Although they thought they knew for sure what their first and second choices would be they wanted to see a few more just to be sure.

Day one of their visit we toured 5 homes; (one of their selections went UA the day they got here) They were stunned that their first and second choice homes on paper turned out to be last on their list by the end of the day. Fell in love with a home that they didn't really like on paper. We decided to look at three more homes on day two, pretty much because they couldn't believe they found their home on the "first day".

Day two they came to the office and asked to write up an offer immediately; cancelled all other tours. We crunched the numbers, made an offer and countered the counter offer.

Day three everybody agreed on the price and terms and we sealed the deal, scheduled inspections, send contracts to the lender. They spent the rest of the day playing tourist.

Tomorrow is day four and they head home, very happy campers.

Unusual? Yes, a little. But the point is they DID shop carefully and they knew what they wanted when they saw it. They didn't pay full price because they had seen what similar homes were going for and had a pretty good idea what the real market value was. But they did see the home because the seller had the good judgement to drop the price to nearly where it belonged. (A few weeks earlier they would not have found the home at all because it was listed at $30,000 over market value and ten thoursand out of their search limits.)

Was there another home in the hundreds they rejected on paper that would have caught their eye if they had stepped inside to smell the cookies? Sure! Did they ever get to it? No, because it never jumped out at them on paper, or did not come up in their price range.

Did I drive them around? You betcha! Did I spend half as much time driving as I had spent on the internet with them. Not by a long shot!

It's a different world; you have to play a different game!

Oh, and did I mention that before we met for the first time their file was set up with a pre-approval letter, their preferences, and their absolute turn-offs. None of those other sellers even knew they had been considered and rejected.

But that may be a good thing because some sports fan got to watch the Tar Heels knock the tar out of somebody on their way to the title. If we had been in his house he would have had to spend the evening down at the local WAWA drinking bad coffee and chomping at to bit to get back to his "man cave".

Let the new system do its job; you'll spend less time over bad coffee.
1 vote
Llew & Elaine…, , Atlantic Beach, NC
Tue Apr 7, 2009
We have found that most of our clients have done their research before we meet them and have narrowed their search down to a few homes. The days of hauling clients all around the area are done, thanks to the internet.
0 votes
Jeff K, Home Buyer, Bristol, PA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Hi Seller,

I think we've seen you here before. Would you please post your MLS so that we can look at it, and then have more info?

0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Apr 7, 2009

It's all about price, visibility, and appeal. The bottom line is if you are not getting showings we strongly suggest that you visit these factors and consider making adjustments.
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Unfortunately Home Seller the definition of buyer is used loosely. There are lots of people on lists or proclaiming themselves buyers/investors. There are much fewer Buyers with the financial means or approval to actually buy.

"What is the secret to getting someone in the door?"

At this time and this market if you learn the answer to that question come back to this Forum and Sell it, you'll earn enough to buy many many houses.

Good luck, Dunes
0 votes
Home Seller, Home Seller, Cecil, PA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
It is on the mls and the price is very comparable. I don't want to give the listing info and offend my agent but I wish my agent would at least bring a few people over or have some of her co-workers bring their clients in. It seems like the agents are out there on their own and don't talk to each other anymore.
0 votes
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Tue Apr 7, 2009
So I it is listed with a realtor and no showings? If the realtor is marketing it, then the reason is the price. Ask your agent for an updated CMA and you might want to re-evalutate the price.

Sean Dawes
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Plano, , Plano, TX
Tue Apr 7, 2009
How long has the home been on the market? Ask your agent for an updated CMA to see what has sold currently and for how much... and what your competition is. If you can, make your price as close to, if not a tiny bit lower to your best comparable. See if that works.

If no one is coming through the door, then something they see to begin with isnt sparking interest. How are the pictures online? Are they nice, bright, clean pictures? If I look at a house with bad pictures, I wouldn't want to waste my time going to see the house.
0 votes
Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Tue Apr 7, 2009

We still have buyers in our databases but many do not want to buy or cannot buy for various reasons. We are busy trying to match houses with our clients but we can't force them to come look at a home. Unfortunately, even if your price is very competitive, the market maybe too shakey in some areas for people to take the plunge. Price is the bottom line factor since it already should figure in the value of location, etc. If your home sees like a bargain, someone will want to see it..eventually. You don't say if your house is listed but if it is, your agent can check with other listing agents in teh area to find out showing stats. If everyone else is getting showings but you are not...then you know that you have to find out the problem. You could always post info/pics toyour place here and let people critique it!
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more