Reading the Tea Leaves: Feedback from Home Showings
Feedback from Home Showings
Feedback from home showings (agents who have shown my listings) is critical in helping analyze how a property ranks in the marketplace. Agents who are showing homes to a prospective buyer get immediate feedback from a buyer as to whether they “liked” a property or “not”.
There are hundreds of emotions, thoughts and analytical processes swirling around in a buyer’s head when they walk through the door of a listing.
Some thoughts are good:
- I like that vaulted ceiling
- that kitchen is amazing- I could so see myself preparing a holiday meal in it
And some thoughts are not so good:
- What’s that smell?
- That carpet is awful.
Some of the analytical part happens over time:
- I don’t think this house is as nice as the previous two we have seen but it is priced higher
- Not much value for the dollar.
Digging through these emotions, thoughts and processes is a tough task. The buyer and their showing, or selling agent as it is known in the business, must analyze each house and determine whether, or not, it merits a second look or consideration.
Enter the listing agent who is representing the seller of the home. The key question we have is “What did you think”. In trying to get feedback from home showings, here are some key things the listing agent needs to know:
- PRICE: Was the home priced competitively with other homes you looked at recently?
- PRICE: If the home was not priced competitively, what price should we consider for this home?
- INTEREST: Did the buyer like the home?
- INTEREST: Is the buyer considering a second showing?
- ACTION: Is the buyer going to make an offer to buy the property?
- STRONG POINTS: What did your buyer like about the house? What were the best features of the house?
- PROBLEM AREAS: Anything we should know about? What were features of the home your buyer did not like? What could the seller do to improve how this house shows?
Answers to all of the above questions will help a seller, and the seller’s listing agent, read the tea leaves as to how this home ranks in the market place. Some of this can be quantified but much depends on the experience of the listing agent. If 4 out of 5 showing agents and buyers respond that the price is too high, then you can easily assume the property is not competitive in the marketplace. If the response is 2 out of 5 then it is much more difficult to make a decision about the price.
Some of the information requires only a single response to know immediate action is required. “There was a musty smell in the basement” is one of the most telling things we can hear. Pet odors, worn carpet, offensive paint colors, steep driveways are a few of the many responses that sellers have to factor in to evaluating their home’s competitive position in the market place.
Once responses start coming in from showings, listing agents must then help sellers who are blinded by their own emotions, see themes that are developing from showing feedback. The toughest one, but by far the most common, is homes that are priced too high for the current market. It has been a long time since we have seen rising prices in the real estate market. Yet to a person, sellers want to “try” a price that is just above what the “numbers” show their house is worth. Often this comes with a commitment of “we will drop the price if we don’t get an offer” I call this part of the deal “amnesia” pricing because sellers forget all about the dropping of the price once their home hits the market. I had a recent seller swear to me we would drop the price by $10,000 after three weeks on the market. In the interim we received an offer that would have netted within a couple thousand dollars of the lower price. DO you think the seller took the offer? Heck no. They countered at a price that was higher than the “market price” we agreed to move to in three weeks. Amnesia? Either that or a brain damage from a career in the NFL. I don’t know what the sellers were thinking.
About 50% of the agents who show my listings take the time and trouble to give feedback. The ones that do provide feedback are generally honest and helpful. I try to return the favor when I show their listings. Why o why do sellers not take the feedback seriously and move to put their home in the best position to sell. Replace the worn carpet, kill the pet odor and paint that awful looking pepto-bismol color over with something neutral.
Reading the Feedback from Home Showings tea leaves can help you sell your home. Take two glasses of a medicinal whiskey and call me in the morning. We need to take action on the feedback we received from showing agents!