Is it standard practice for a realtor with a listing to follow-up with a potential buyer's agent after a showing?

Asked by Rkfwheaton, Wheaton, IL Sun Oct 18, 2009

My realtor has failed to get any feedback after the showings - she claims the buyer's agent does not return her calls. This has happened on more than one occassion. Not sure if I should be concerned about my realtor or if industry standard is not to follow-up after a showing.

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Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Sun Oct 18, 2009
I hardly ever get any feedback from agents that show my listings. If I do get someone to respond, it's usually not anything constructive other than the obvious that we already know. I've learned to not place a lot on feedback.
2 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Thu Oct 22, 2009
A lot of real estate offices, such as mine, caravan regularly and between that and brokers' open houses it is effective in getting feedback from an agent's point of view.
Personally, I think that agent feedback is more useful than buyer's feedback because each buyer is looking for something different that may have nothing to do with an individual house.
Agents look at a house from a marketing point of view. Buyer's look at a house from a personal perspective.
That being said, I always return phone calls or emails when a listing agent is looking for feedback. It just seems like the right thing to do.
1 vote
Maria Founto…, Agent, Bronx, NY
Wed Oct 21, 2009
It is unlikely the agent would not let you know if their buyer were interested. If the buyer's agent does not reply after receiving email, voice mail messages left on both office and cell phones, and finally texts, then the agent's buyer must have HAD no comments and is quite possibly unable to get back to the seller's agent. It is unprofessional of the buyer's agent to not reply if they received the communication.

Most of the time in our business, so much of our attention is fragmented in a million directions, energies are focused on viable properties for our customers and small gestures of professionalism can be overlooked.
1 vote
Jennifer Ames, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Oct 21, 2009
In my business, we found email is a much more effective venue to obtain feedback than calling on the phone. Buyer's agents can reply at any time of the day or night, at their convenience. Also, a request for feedback in an email is less disruptive than calling, especially calls to people's cell phones. We ask the same 6-7 questions after every showing, and about 40% of the agents give us the courtesy of a response.

After second or third showings, we email for feedback but we also call as sellers are usually more anxious to understand if the buyer has serious interest. However, there are still some agents who will never reply. It is rude, and can put the listing agent in an awkward position.

My only question to you is how long your agent has been in the business and how much has he or she sold in the area where your home is located. In most markets, a small number of agents do the majority of the sales and I am fairly confident that those agents are conscientious about providing feedback to each other when asked. But they may be less responsive if your agent is new or from out of the area.

Best of luck,

1 vote
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Oct 19, 2009
Hello Rkf and thanks for your question.

Personally, I make it my "standard practice" to follow up with buyers and Realtors who visit homes that I list, but one must certainly be persistent in getting the feedback, since Realtors are often busy or don't really remember the home or don't want to be bothered telling you what they or their clients thought of the property. I've made this process a bit easier for anyone visiting the home during open houses to provide me wth anonymous feedback by giving those who visit a preaddressed, stamped postcard that they can send to me with their comments. I don't get 100 percent of these back, but I do get a large number of responses directly from the buyers rather than the agents.

However, as Mack pointed out below, the feedback is not what sells the home. It can help you, as the seller, make adjustments, repairs or price changes to sell the home, but, in the long run, a buyer who really wants your home will come there, fall in love with your property, and buy it. If this process is not going fast enough for you, remember that the big equalizer is always the price of the home.

Good luck!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Oct 18, 2009
I wouldn't say that it's "standard" practice, it's something agents do to demonstrate to sellers that they're doing something.
Listing agents do almost all of their work when helping sellers prepare their homes for sale, putting the marketing materials together, and negotiating the deal. In the interim - between putting the house on the market and waiting for offers, there's not really much an agent can do.
So, yeah, agents often do callbacks.
Here's the deal. Never once, in the recorded history of real estate, has a buyer's agent said, "OMG! That house?!! We couldn't remember ... OMG, we are so going to write an offer now, thank you for reminding us!"
Don't be down on your agent if they don't do callbacks.
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sun Oct 18, 2009
Yes, it's normal. Buyer's agents are not always "prompt" in returning feedback phone calls. Your realtor needs to be persistent about getting those feedback calls.

I often have to call 2-3 times... be patient.
1 vote
Colin Church…, , Fort Myers, FL
Sun Oct 18, 2009
Dear Home Seller

I am sorry you have had this problem, you should get feed back from your agent on any showings, as this will tell if there are any reasons why your home is not selling. May be your agent should be there when the next showing is being done in order to get the feed back.
Colin Churchill
Platinum Realty Services Inc
Fort Myers
Tel: 239 634 9499
1 vote
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Mon Dec 14, 2009
Here is what you can conclude after a brand X agent shows your home. Unless they call your agent to request needed information to write an offer, your house did not meet the needs and wants of the buyer, or was not priced well enough for the market. Buyers generally want move-in condition, and it must speak to them so that they must have your house. Or, at least the items lacking are repairable and within the budget of the buyer. Is there a buyer out there who will buy your house even though it needs updating, painting, repairs, has location issues, high taxes, and other things? Sure, there may be one, eventually. But correct everythng and the number of buyers increases, doesn't it? Basically, no response means No Sale this time.
0 votes
Lisa Otto, , Geneva, IL
Mon Nov 23, 2009
In our market here in the western suburbs of Chicago it is customary to ask for and give feedback. However, sometimes a showing agent gets too busy or feels that her clients had no real valuable feedback. He/she should still communicate this to the listing agent but it can fall to the bottom of the 'to do' list.
I would question your listing agent if it a consistent problem. Feedback can be invaluable. I do agree, however, with some of the posters who have said that other agents in the area may have more valuable feedback than the actual buyers. We, as agents see many, many houses and we know what attracts and detracts from the sale of a home. Ask your Realtor to put your home 'on tour' and have him/her put out a survey for the agents to fill out. You may really benefit from their feedback. Good luck!
0 votes
Joe Champagne, Agent, Glen Ellyn, IL
Sun Nov 8, 2009
Feedback is such an essential means to getting your house sold. It’s an absolute necessity. I have experienced the same problem with agents not returning calls but as an agent you have to be persistent and you will get the feedback. It is a must!!
0 votes
Corey Schraw, Agent, Wheaton, IL
Thu Nov 5, 2009
The simple answer is yes!! As a Realtor in your area I use a couple of methods to get showing feedback. 1st I use a program that automatically sends an email requesting feedback, Secondly once I know a showing has occurred I call and ask for feed back if the agent has not responded to my 1st email.

If your realtor is not getting feedback and asking thr right questions what else is he/she not doing?
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Nov 1, 2009
I am one agent that throws automated feedback forms in the slag heap.
If you call me, and I have a moment, I will answer your questions. Except for the price; you've done the MA, I might have just stumbled into the place out of curiosity. There's a 75/25% chance that I will return your call if you leave a voice message.
Joan Braunschweiger's answer is the best, but I know from experience, I'm just not going to put "answer callbacks" on my to-do list.
So don't hate your agent for this!
0 votes
Nan Conover, , Greenville, SC
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Dear Rkf Our call center always sends a feedback e-mail which can then be sent on to the seller if it is constructive. It also helps when you have told your seller certain issues need to be addressed and when they see it in writing over and over it can make an impact. Somes agents give minimal feedback and some are more helpful. On the other side if I am working with someone relocating and has minimum time and many houses to see it can take a while to provide the feedback but I will do it as soon as I have time.

Nan Conover SRES, e-Pro
Dynamic Realty
Greenville, SC
0 votes
Mark & Carol…, Agent, Lake Worth, FL
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Normally within two days I try to follow up with the showing agent and report back to the seller the buyers and agents comments.
0 votes
Chaz Motter, , Flint, MI
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Yes It is very common the system we use a in my area is automated you book your showings online and automatically get an e-mail asking for feedback. it make showing vacant properties very easy you just go to
0 votes
Margaret Ros…, , 29621
Thu Oct 22, 2009
It does seem to be a difficult thing to get the feedback you need as a listing agent sometimes but be patient, ask your Realtor again, letting them know how important it is for you to understand what made the potential buyer not make an offer. Your Realtor should be persistante in making sure they get feedback from the buyer agent.
0 votes
Carole Klein, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Oct 22, 2009
it can be tough to get the buyer's agent to return surveys are another strategy to employ.
0 votes
Jenn DeBoer, , Kirkland, WA
Thu Oct 22, 2009
It is standard practice for the listing agent to request feedback from agents that have previewed or shown the property. Unfortunately, the showing agents don't always take the courtesy of responding. I suggest using email rather than a telephone call for a few reasons: 1. The listing agent can BCC the owner in the email so the owner sees that the listing agent is doing their job, 2. It allows the showing agent a little time to respond when they have a moment (could be middle of the night), 3. The feedback may be more open/honest in an email v. face to face or over the phone, and 4. The feedback can be forwarded directly to the seller so they hear the information directly from the horses mouth. Ultimately we want the facts of what people think of a property in order to get it sold. Sometimes the listing agent softens, sugarcoats or leaves out a detail or two of the showing agents feedback just to not "hurt" the seller. There is no good end result in doing that after all, the listing agent isn't saying the negative things about the house.
0 votes
Sheila Newton, Agent, Anderson, SC
Thu Oct 22, 2009

It is true that on their own, buyer's agents do not give much feedback.. Even with a phone call leaving a message and asking for it, they are not likely to respond.. However, I have found that they do respond a little better through email.. The best way to do this is be a part of a centralized showing service.. At our office, a showing service makes the appts for the agents and automatically sends a feedback request.. we average getting back about 60% of these.. the others, you do have to assume that the buyer just was not interested..

Hope that helps..
Sheila Newton
Sheila Newton Team, Inc.
RE/MAX Foothills Realty
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Oct 21, 2009
Hi Rkf

I have not taken the time to read the other responses, so I will try to be succinct, and hopefully, not too repetitive.

To answer your exact IS standard for most agents, who are on top of things, to seek feedback. It is also, unfortunately, all too common for other agents not to return those calls. I find that rude, but it does happen. I understand we are all busy doing what we do...but I personally always make time to give that feedback, as I hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.

I have tried emailing, informally, for feedback......and also tried a paid email program that asks a limited number of multiple choice questions. I loved the fact that the program would, if no response was received, automatically send out 3 requests, after which they sent an email to me and to the seller stating that that particular agent was unresponsive. When I started letting agents know that their names would be shared with the seller for non-compliance,. I started getting a better response ....for a short period of time, anyway.

I am now back to calling ......and I keep calling, but it can be time consuming and annoying to have to do so.

The obvious resopinse or feedback, is that no response means no interest....but, I always like to know do my sellers.

The best anyone can do is keep trying.................I am sure your agent is trying...............of course, the best response is a call from the buyer's agent, that day, right after the showing to say the buyers are interested!!

Good luck ...and I hope you find a buyer soon.

Best wishes.
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties

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0 votes
GARY HARMON, , Carlsbad, CA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
In a normal San Diego market it is common practice for the listing realtor to do follow-up after showings. In the current short sale, reo market the listing realtors seldom do the follow-up.
0 votes
Mary Myzia, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Wed Oct 21, 2009
If you are never getting feedback there may be a problem with how your agent is going about it. I am very persistent about getting feedback and I still only run about 75%. Some agents just won't give it. If feed back isn't gotten in the first few days then it most likely will not be gotten. I know myself, if a seller's agent doesn't ask for feedback in the first 3 or so days, I will most likely not remember the home enough to give accurate feedback. I disagree with the statement that there is not much to do between the day the property is listed and negotiate the offer. There are many marketing activities to better expose the home and also collecting feedback gives you other peoples points of view to better show the home, make price adjustments and negotiating a good contract.
0 votes
Kathy Stark, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
It sounds like your agent is trying to get feedback. The problem is, as they say you cannot get blood from a turnip. All your agent can do is ask. Many agents do not respond when requested for feedback. There are many reasons for this that may have nothing to do with your home.
1. The client did not express to the agent the reason they did not want to buy your home
2. The agent showed so many homes that day that they do not recall the reason the buyer eliminated yours
3. Imagine the agent showed 15-20 homes that day, and now the agent has 15-20 agents calling or e-mailing for feedback, there is just so much time in the day.

What I usually do when I want feedback is send the showing agent an e-mail, including in that e-mail a link to the listing in the MLS. I want the showing agent to be able to see the photos in the listing which will help jog their memory of your home (hope your listing agent has lots of photos in the MLS). It is a lot easier for a showing agent to respond at their leisure to an e-mail with info attached, then it would be to a call for feedback, possibly while they are with other clients, or driving down the road, etc. Ask you agent to try this option for feedback, and if they get feedback by e-mail they can then forward the remarks directly to you.

Best of luck in getting your home sold.

Kathy Stark
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes
Kim Noonan, Agent, New Lenox, IL
Wed Oct 21, 2009
Feedback certainly can be beneficial, especially if your listing reeks like poop and you don't know it. :-D
But it's a courtesy, not a requirement.

Of late, feedback hunting has gotten exhausting. With all the automated email showing programs, it seems it should be even simpler to get and give it. And yet, it's worse than ever. And when you're blessed enough to track down the agent, it tends to be devoid of any real info. Right now, I hear a lot of: "Shows really well, but buyers are looking for the needle in a haystack short-sale deal on a non-short-sale home."

Some agents will tell you they flat out never give feedback. That when showing homes, they are working for their buyer, and giving info about their buyer's thought processes and opinions could impact their ability to negotiate should they determine they want to make a move on that property. It also seems way more difficult to get feedback out of part time agents or agents who travel a long way to show homes that are basically out of their market area.

On the flip side, as a buyer's agent, when I get the email requests auto generated, I answer them unless the program requires me to answer all questions in order to send the email back, especially those relating to "what should the list price be?" Unless I want to try to pre-influence a price reduction for my interested buyer. ::wink::

And finally - lack of feedback on multiple showings and no offers?
That kind of IS feedback.
0 votes
Mark Tarinel…, Agent, Wheaton, IL
Mon Oct 19, 2009
I think it’s really important to ask for feedback, especially with newer listings where the sellers may be testing the market a bit at first. I have been on both sides of a transaction where a simple call or email asking "how did the showing go?" was answered with my buyers really liked the place...but they felt it was over priced compared to ... [with examples of comparable house's the Buyers are also considering] " and it has lead to price adjustments and closed deals that may have never occurred otherwise.

I think all agents should see the benefit of the quick follow-up call, and should reciprocate by giving feedback; unfortunately it is not always done.
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0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Oct 19, 2009
Grace, thank you, and you bring up another point - sometimes, agents just don't want to tell you the truth about your listing - for whatever reason.
We do try to maintain at least cordial relations with one another, and not everybody welcomes criticism.
Anecdote: I have allergies, and smelling isn't always my strongest sense. Two weeks go by, vacant (but staged) condo listing. I'm calling for feedback, getting, "looks nice but not right for my buyer," that sort of thing.
Turns out, there's a sewer backup, and a moderate - not totally foul - amount of odor in the kitchen. Nobody tells me. I'm there for my third open house, and I hear gurgling. Right then, one of the agents who I had called, called me for feedback on their listing. "I'm dealing with this," I told her. "Oh, yeah, that place just -reeked-," she said. Information that might have been useful at least a week ago . . .
0 votes
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