A Washington Post article is echoing what we heard in the Direct From the Consumer segment at our annual Real Estate REvive conference earlier this year–that missed appointments, the impersonal nature of modern real estate transactions, scheduling struggles, and sellers lingering during showings are just a few of the common gripes that frustrate buyers and sellers.
One couple received a text message from their real estate agent that potential buyers wanted to view their home when it happened to be raining. The couple made their house available, even though the husband had to conduct a two-hour conference call from his car, and the wife had to keep the pets out of the house for two hours (they thought a buyer must be serious to come out in the rain). But the buyers never showed up. The sellers were really irked when the buyer’s agent never contacted them to apologize, then rescheduled and failed to show up again.
“Our REALTOR® followed up … and reported back the buyers’ agent had blamed the buyers for not being available because they have a baby and it’s hard to get out of the house. But that doesn’t explain why she didn’t contact us either time to let us know they wouldn’t be coming.”
The couple also says that the “lack of personal touch” in real estate is annoying. “Even with your own REALTOR® almost everything is done by e-mail, including when it was time to renew our listing contract.”
Agents say that getting sellers to open their homes and buyers to stick to a schedule can be one of the most vexing aspects of a transaction.
“It’s surprising when sellers insist that buyers can come in only during limited hours or respond negatively to requests to visit a property,” Jami Harich, an agent with Avery Hess REALTORS® told the Washington Post. “When your buyer wants to see multiple properties, they sometimes just skip the one that isn’t easy to see.”
To avoid this situation, it’s important for sellers’ agents to really stress the importance of having a flexible schedule to their clients.
Some buyers say they are also not happy when sellers refuse to leave when they are trying to view a home. Eldad Moraru, a real estate pro in Maryland, says that is one of the biggest complaints he gets from buyers.
“The worst is sellers who follow the buyers around to show them features or talk about the place,” Moraru told The Washington Post. “Buyers feel as if they’re intruding and won’t even look at the house.”
Moraru says that if sellers are present, he tries to engage them in conversation so the buyers have a chance to look around in quiet. Sometimes listing agents don’t make it clear enough to home owners that it’s important to leave the home for listing appointments, but Moraru also notes that he realizes sometimes home owners just don’t listen.
Sometimes sellers are left to wonder why no one is making an offer. Gretchen Koitz of Koitz Real Estate says sometimes buyers drive up and decide against a house because of its appearance or the neighborhood, but that agents should take the time to let the listing agent know if that’s the reason.
“When our agent asks for feedback [from the buyer’s agent],” says one seller, “they either don’t reply or they reply with something that they have clearly made up or that shows they don’t know our house. We had one person say the buyers didn’t want our house because they needed a space with a high ceiling for a grand piano. We have a grand piano in a room with a two-story ceiling.”
Harich says she calls buyers’ agents and emails them as soon as possible after they have visited a property to request feedback and tells them, “I’ll give you feedback on your listings if you give me some on mine.”
“Sellers want to know why they aren’t getting an offer, and most of them are willing to listen if they get honest answers from buyers’ agents,” Harich says. “For instance, if I hear that a house smelled smoky, I can remind the buyers that they promised to smoke outside and to leave the windows closed so the smoke doesn’t drift inside.”
When buyers and sellers get frustrated with each other or with the real estate process, an agent can play an important role in smoothing the way to a move.
“Buying or selling a home is an emotional transaction,” Koitz says. “The Realtor for each side needs to stay calm and be the person to temper expectations and reduce conflict.”
Source: “Home Buyers and Sellers Can Drive One Another Up the Wall,” The Washington Post (June 23, 2016)