- Show up for the scheduled showing or make sure to cancel the showing. This one is obvious. Each showing request is an emotional roller coaster for sellers, so showing up is a good idea! Not to mention, it's also polite. Many sellers go to great lengths to have their house ready to show and to be gone during the showing. Calling to cancel is definitely a sign of respect.
- Leave a business card or note. This one is difficult. Some real estate agents consider leaving a card as soliciting the seller to become the other agent's client. The entire real estate industry can't decide on which is best practice for everyone as the opinions are so divergent. Leaving a note is even more like soliciting the seller's business. Most St. Paul listing companies give instructions to leave a card. When there are no instructions against leaving a card, I usually do leave one. Occasionally I have run out before my showing day is done. On those occasions a note might be appropriate.
- Provide prompt, helpful feedback. If I've seen twenty 3 bedroom two story houses that day, and the feedback request comes by phone . . . ? The caller had better be able to tell me something distinctive about the house so I can remember it. I don't take the notes; my clients do. If I can remember the house, I will definitely give feedback. If I can't . . . well, send me an e-mail with the link to the listing and I'll definitely get it right!
- Turn off the lights. IF I am instructed with the showing instructions to turn off the lights, I will. If I am not, I won't. Why is that? Because there might be another showing right behind mine and the lights should be on for that one, too. How do I know if someone else is coming in or not? IF turning off the lights is important to the seller, then give the buyer's agent the instructions to do so.
The statement that Randy Goetz said which felt insulting was "As a seller in today's market, I am so over buyer's agents." Those words felt "so" like fighting words. I do my best to bring a buyer into their home so they can reach their goal of selling the house and Mr. Goetz is "over buyer's agents"! Much like Mr. Goetz, I spend a lot of time preparing the showing tour for my buyers. Guessing the amount of time a client will spend in each home is impossible. Allowing some lead time and overlap time (which I do) helps, but is not a perfect system. Invariably sellers will expect me to rearrange my 20 St. Paul area houses so I can get to theirs an hour later than requested. The homes are mapped in the most efficient way possible. Back tracking is time consuming and sometimes impossible. Some sellers won't allow showings except between 2 and 4 PM on weekdays (when my clients are at work)! When I'm on the 18th house of the day and I'm only a few minutes late, consider it a miracle. That day is a good day.
My suggestion to sellers is to be thankful there is an agent with the buyer. Who is going to watch to make sure your valuables are not stolen? or your prescriptions? Who is going to make sure little Johnny doesn't wreck the 1000 piece lego set it took 3 weeks to assemble? Who makes sure the buyers remove their muddy shoes when they enter your home? Who spent 2 hours the previous day arranging for the showings? Who makes sure the buyer is pre-qualified for a loan before inconveniencing the seller and creating the emotional roller coaster a showing causes? Whose life is in jeopardy if the buyer is dangerous? Whose gas is bringing the buyer to your house? Who pays for those cards you want left behind? Do you expect your agent to come to your house for each showing? The buyer's agent comes to every one of the showings their client has.
My point may, or may not, be obvious: There are two sides to every story. The seller is inconvenienced but has a goal in mind. The buyer sometimes creates the seller's inconvenience, but brings the solution to the goal. Let's work together to accomplish that goal, to find a buyer for the seller's house!