Realtor Rule #1: “Know Your Client.” Rule #2: “Know the Property You’re Selling” (or at least, how to get in)

Test your knowledge of real estate sales, and answer the following question:

Why is it smart for the Realtor representing the Buyer to get to a showing early?

A. It allows extra time for the agent to deal with any lockbox issues (locating, opening, etc.).
B. It gives the agent time to find parking.
C. It gives the agent time to turn on all the lights.
D. It serves as a cushion in case there’s traffic.
E. To impress their client.

           Answer:  all of the above (but, see explanation for “E.” below).

Here’s the background:

A. Especially in condo buildings, the lockbox ain’t always where you’d expect it to be — or where the showing instructions indicated.

Even in single family homes, sometimes the lockbox is hiding in some out-of-the-way place (vs. on the front door).

When that’s the case, arriving early allows time for the Buyer’s agent to reach the listing agent, ASAP, for clarification.

B. Parking in front of a single family home is seldom an issue, at least in the Twin Cities.

However, for downtown condo buildings, guest parking is not always sufficient and/or well-marked.

Finding on-street parking 1 block (or 3!) away can easily take an extra 5-10 minutes.

C. Getting the lights on is customarily more of second showing “to do,” once it’s clear the prospective Buyer has (more) serious interest.

However, for either:  a) upper bracket properties; or b) “needle in a haystack” homes, when the pickings have been particularly slim, it’s always smart to do.

D. Unfortunately, given a combination of continued Twin Cities growth and summer road construction, it’s increasingly likely to encounter traffic any time of day.

E. Sort of.

Being punctual is simply part and parcel of being professional (i.e., Realtors don’t get extra credit for that).

However, especially at the outset of the relationship, agents are still learning their clients (and vice versa).

Getting to a showing extra early, to see when their client arrives is a personality “tell,” and lets savvy Realtors tailor their service accordingly.

Which is the ultimate mark of good salesmanship . . .

See also, “Creative Lockbox Placement: Exhibit A.”

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.

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