TUESDAY TIP: BE FLEXIBLE. Real estate is an unpredictable, impulsive, and spontaneous business. I could be sitting at my laptop one minute, and ten minutes later be meeting a new client at the office thanks to a last minute phone call.
Sellers in the Poconos of Northest PA must be as flexible as possible, especially with a gazillion homes competing for buyers. This is particularly true in a vacation home market. Buyers may get a sudden break in their schedule & wish to see a few lake houses on their day off…and they come with the intent of possibly buying! Being ready for showings at the last minute is very important…you never know if “THIS” is going to be THE BUYER. Because many buyers travel a significant distance, they want to see as many homes as possible: I have shown as many as 26 homes in one manic day!
I coach my sellers to always keep the house as if someone is coming to see it. Sometimes this can be challenging, but you never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression…
On the flipside, buyers need to be flexible too, and understand certain things: sometimes appointments are booked days in advance. It is not always possible, especially on a weekend, to accommodate a last minute request for an appointment. Contrary to what many think, those of us agents who are actually working…are actually out working! If I can take you out I most certainly will, but we full time agents often have our weekends booked ahead of time. Advanced notice is optimal!
Sometimes owner occupied homes are a tremendous pain, especially when showing 15-20 homes over a 250 square mile radius. (Actually my market area in Wayne & Pike County PA covers approx. 1,200 square miles.) Some sellers insist on being present for showings and thus want to know exactly when to expect you. If you are late, they get angry. If you are early, they are annoyed & are not ready. Some demand no showings in the afternoons because of napping children. The list goes on.
The problem is I never know how long a buyer will spend in a particular house. Some buyers spend a great deal of time going over every nook and cranny, discussing what compromises can be made, asking about the community, spendind anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes in a home. I never rush my clients. Ever. You would not want an agent to rush buyers through YOUR home, would you?
Sometimes we arrive and find the location to be unsuitable and they don’t even want to go in, but I’ve allotted 20 minutes for this home…now we are ahead of schedule. We go to the next home; also a bomb, and the third doesn’t work either. Now we are an hour ahead of schedule. Or vice versa…due to buyers taking their time, we are nearly an hour behind…
Sellers need to be flexible with appointments. I can’t help it if you insist on being present for all showings; that is your choice and you will need to understand that you may sit around for 2 or 3 hours waiting; I simply can’t guarantee the exact time. This is what lockboxes are for – to take away your need to be there to let us in. Plus, the showings always go more smoothly if you are not there. Honestly. It’s not that we don’t like you, but you make buyers nervous when you hover.
Lastly, we need to respect the showing instructions. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances in the lives of the seller 24 hour notice is requested (another reason why I like a day’s notice to make appointments.) Do not be angry if you want to see a 24 hour notice home at the last minute…and can’t.
Flexibility. Everyone needs it in this business. Everyone.