Listing Associates often find themselves in the awkward position of attempting to convince sellers of the need to price a home correctly before it hits the market or risk a property that sits on the market for too long, something I like to call an “over-marketed” property. After 30 days or so on the market, the energy generated by a newly listed home dissolves. The buyers who’ve been shopping in that market wonder what’s wrong with it and don’t tend to be as objective as they might have been with a newly listed property. Imperfections are met with speculation based in cynicism and assumptions are made without the benefit of a doubt.
When properly marketed real estate doesn’t get the attention that the sellers’ think it deserves, they want answers from their agent. These answers might come more fluently and be better received if the listing associate has already held the conversation over observable price-objections like maintenance negligence or lack of updates. If we know nothing else about sellers, particularly owner occupants, they are typically emotionally attached to their homes, which makes these conversations tricky to approach, but very necessary before the house goes live to the world. Even when experienced, knowledgeable agents confront these issues accordingly, sellers’ may turn a deaf ear, remembering all of the blood, sweat and tears they have experienced inside that home and thinking how the buyer must surely understand all of it.
That’s why buyer-feedback is crucial after showings. If the buyer’s associate is offering feedback from their client, it’s normally not accompanied with an offer to purchase, so in a perfect world, the feedback should be honest about why they aren’t willing to strike a deal. So why don’t buyer-agents usually provide positive criticism? I can only speculate, but it’s safe to say that the buyer-agent has been or will be in the same situation as the listing agent, without answers, risking the loss of a listing and client. Meanwhile, the seller has lost valuable marketing time they’ll never get back.
Here’s an example of some feedback an Acutech Realty Associate recently provided to a listing agent after a showing of a home in the $300,000 range.
“To say the least, the buyer doesn’t intend to move forward, but more specifically, didn’t like the overall lack of attention to maintenance in the house. Examples of this are the greenish pool that is cloudy, perhaps because the pump wasn’t running, the broken valve handles in-line with the pool filter system, and the visible patches where the kitchen light fixtures appear to have been replaced. The latch to the exterior door between the back yard and the pool was broken and other than the granite, the fixtures in the bathrooms appeared dated. The partial wall between the great room and the Florida room seemed a bit improper, sending more red flags up for the buyer that it may have been un-permitted work. While the Christmas lights attached to the outside wall adjacent to the pool might add a certain type of ambiance, the buyer didn’t see the added value in a home in this price range.
The buyer understands that this home is priced below the average recently sold comps, but the amount of work involved in repairing a home that could have been prevented with common maintenance makes him suspicious about what else might have been neglected. He also understands that a general home inspection might answer some of these wonders, but even a low-ball offer on the already discounted listed price wasn’t a consideration for him.
Please don’t misunderstand the intent of my feedback or let your client do so either. We mean no disrespect, but I personally hate feedback that doesn’t offer useful information like “the buyer doesn’t want to move forward on this one” or my favorite, “The buyer just isn’t feeling it”. It’s tough to explain to a seller that they are vastly over-priced when you can’t give them any meaningful reason to think otherwise from the buyer’s perspective.
I hope this helps. Good luck.”