Scrubbed Showings, or, “The Customer Home Buyer Is Always Right”

Once in a while, prospective home Buyers know a house isn’t for them before their agent can even open the front door.

The curb appeal (or lack thereof) is a turn-off**; the next-door-neighbor looks like they’re raising pit bulls (or collecting broken-down snowmobiles); or something else about the block just doesn’t sit right with them.

As a Buyer’s agent, I never challenge my client’s bad vibe; on the contrary, I give them permission to move on as soon as they know any given home isn’t right for them (too, as a veteran agent, I’ve learned that clients’ — and my own(!) — bad vibes invariably turn out to be warranted).

Bad Vibe vs. Good Housing Karma

In such situations, however, I follow the practice of my Edina Realty-City Lakes colleague, Kathy Dick.

Instead of canceling the showing last-minute — sure to irk homeowners who went to the trouble of prepping (and perhaps even missing dinner at home) — I open the lockbox, briefly go in solo, and leave my business card.

Elapsed time:  usually less than one minute.

“Not a Good Fit”

If the home has an electronic lockbox AND the listing agent is paying attention, they’ll know what happened (they’ll see the lockbox was opened and closed almost simultaneously).

But, the homeowner will be none the wiser.

Then, when I complete the inevitable showing feedback form back at my desk later on, I truthfully respond that the home “wasn’t a good fit” for my client (or some such).

That sidesteps the indignant Seller protest (“How could they not like it?!? They didn’t even go in!!”), as well as any other fallout with the listing agent.

**Listing agents will sometimes anticipate this objection, with marketing verbiage like, “this wonderful home is NOT a drive-by.”

Unfortunately, at least for some Buyers, some homes really are (a drive-by).

And no, you can’t always tell from the online photos.

See also, “What to Do About the Pornographic Statue* on the Neighbor’s Front Lawn“; “Showing Feedback: Looking for “The Glass Slipper“; “The ‘My-client-didn’t-like-it stop-bugging-me’ Showing Feedback”; and “Realtor True Confessions: Top Four Things Your Agent DOESN’T Know . . . and Isn’t Likely to Volunteer.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
1 Response
  1. Sometimes in the feedback comment i will write to the listing agent on how much my buyer was not excited about the property.These days buyers can do a virtual tour on line before even going in a property , they will tell you if its a fit for them or not.

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