Why isn't my house selling?

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Tallent Show

In Part 72 of our 180-part series on “Why Isn’t My House Selling?” we take a look today at one possible factor.

In order for the average buyer to feel compelled to purchase your home, the average buyer will first want to see it.

I was making my appointments yesterday to show the dozen or so homes my client is interested in seeing today. A tour including a dozen homes is not uncommon in today’s market; we have plenty of diverse inventory, and I always encourage our buying clients to hold steadfast to the mind set that they are not buying a pair of shoes. Once, after having shown a family a single home, the young daughter said, “I like this. Are we buying it?” “Maybe, but not yet,” I replied. “If you are shopping for a cool shirt at the mall, do you just try on one, or do you want to try on several to make sure you buy the one that fits you best?”

Now, the client I will be with today is also relocating from another state, so it is especially important that we not only try on many homes, but many areas. Putting together an intergalactic tour is like solving the Rubik’s Cube; one must plan the route and estimate timing. Is the client a fast looker or a deliberate one? What will the traffic be like from Point A to B to Z? Making an appointment to show “sometime this weekend” is poor form, and I owe the sellers the courtesy of a narrower window. But, that narrower window becomes elusive when the sellers would have us, me and someone with the motive, the opportunity and the weapon (the checkbook), serving entirely at their pleasure. Do you want to sell your home?

We can make this hard, or we can make this easy.

Sure, there may be reasons why one agent told me that my window of 10:00 to 11:30 was unacceptable, and that only 4:00 would work. In this case, they had “plans.” So did I. My plans were to show your home, but it won’t be happening. Not today, and not with this buyer. Then there were eleven.

Two other homes, the “by appointment” variety, are also no-gos. In one case, the agent has not called me back, and I can only show after having made arrangements to pick up a key at her office, a key the office won’t release until the agent surfaces and approves the request. In the case of the second, the agent is otherwise indisposed with her own out-of-town clients. Would 5:30 work instead? No. Then there were nine.

Undaunted by the obstacles being thrown in my well-intended path (I am trying to be a cooperating broker here), I continued making calls. For another, nothing before noon is convenient, but if you can make it at 12:30, we can accommodate you. Oh, but just give me a call when you are fifteen minutes away so I can drive over and meet you. Okay, fine. We will rearrange the entire tour, and will now be backtracking at a clip of nearly $4.00 a gallon to fit you in. I am certain the agent will be counting the forks once we have departed.

The Lockbox is Your Friend

Lockboxes are nifty. They are even automated now to provide a complete log of the folks having activated them, so if one were to return home and find that their Spoons of Europe collection had been disturbed, they would know where to come looking. Why, then, would a seller stipulate that their home be shown by appointment only? In some communities which shall remain nameless (La Jolla), the “shown by appointment” home is the rule, and not the exception. Does the seller believe that this practice elevates their home on the exclusivity scale? Does their agent convince them that this practice constitutes an added level of care?

I honestly don’t know, but I do know of at least three homes that my client won’t be making an offer on today.

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