As you may have heard on previous episodes of the podcast, Russell Realty Minute, we had talked about the two reasons why homes won’t sell. The conclusions that we came to were the possibilities of the over pricing of a property and problematic communication.
Let’s focus on the communication, namely, the feedback: Every time a buyer comes through your house, the only feedback you should really care about is if they are going to make an offer or not. Generally, the only feedback that is produced when a listing agent calls and asks the buyer agent how they liked the house is, more likely than not, going to be unproductive. A buyer’s agent won’t take the time to blatantly insult the house should the client dislike it. They aren’t going to complain about the dog smell, or that it seemed moldy, or that the light was inadequate. What they ARE going to tell you is something generic concerning the home, such as they didn’t care for the layout, or that it’s too close to the busy street, or some other type of nonsensical preference, when in all actuality, it is all just code for, “They just didn’t like it.”
Now we know that buyers don’t intend to insult the home or its owners and it’s really just the sellers that want to know all this feedback because all they really want to know is “Did you like my home?” Think about it: To them, this is not just a pile of wood and brick; it’s their home. It’s a very emotional time, therefore, it cannot be discounted that it’s also a very emotional process. Someone has sown a whole lot of sweat, blood, and tear equity in his or her house. For the most part, you will find that the sellers take pride in their home. So, bottom line is, they want that positive feedback that really says, “I like your house, it’s beautiful, just not enough for me to really want to buy it.”
Now we have an understanding of this communication, this feedback dance, if you will. Potential buyers don’t want to purposefully insult a seller and sellers just want validation that their home is worthy of someone’s hard earned dollars, so what is the feedback that truly matters: Are your clients really interested? Do they want a second look? Are they going to put in an offer? The fact that the layout of the rooms aren’t just right, that the rooms may seem too small, that the kitchen is too dark, that the basement smells musty, that they really wanted a two car garage, or that the backyard was not big enough for them? All those kinds of personal particular things that end up get passed along are neither here nor there. You can’t control the property line and extend the size of the yard, you can’t fix the layout, there’s always been just one garage, if they came and thought it needed a two-car garage then why did they come look at the house in the first place? The house is what it is. All of this so-called feedback is unnecessary and is just going to get you frustrated.
All of this is explanation for you to understand why your listing agent doesn’t provide you with every little tidbit of feedback on every single showing, every single time. And why would you want them to? There are probably a dozen revolving door of reasons why maybe the buyer agent didn’t get back with feedback: Maybe the feedback is nonsensical, or ridiculously negative and completely unwarranted and not even worthy of sharing. Honestly, I wouldn’t get too caught up in the feedback from the listing agent to the seller. The only feedback that we would obviously need would be over time. For example, if there had been fifty people through the house and no one has liked it, then that warrants a bit of investigation: Maybe they don’t see the price to value relationship, maybe the price needs to be dropped a little bit, etc. Or if there hasn’t yet been the opportunity to have an open house then that should be scheduled.
On the opposite side of the coin, yes, there are some constructive things that can come out of lack of feedback, or even negative feedback, but as a seller, really, at the end of the day, let’s not get held up and upset by either lack of feedback or the negative feedback of the potential buyers who may come through the property. If you think about it along these lines, it’s an extremely strange process: A buyer goes through a house in ten minutes and suddenly, are willing to spend $400,000 on it. Think about how much time we spend test driving cars and researching computers and all those things we laboriously research, but with home buying, someone looks online, gets in their car, drives to a house, walks around it for a few minutes and then, all of a sudden, is completely ready and willing to spend $2500 a month for the next thirty years to live in that house and all only after just being there for seven, maybe eight minutes. Then of course, there is the home inspection, but by that point, they’ve already committed to buying the house!
My intent is not to beat a dead horse, but as you can see, feedback doesn’t really matter. The only feedback that matters for you is if the buyers that came through on a particular day, at a particular time are interested in moving forward with an offer, or are interested in doing a little more homework about the property, or are wanting to do something that is going to push along a potential offer, or a potential sale for a potential buyer.
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