When a real estate agent shows a Silicon Valley home for sale to prospective buyers, most of the time the property is occupied and the sellers clear out to give the Realtor and his or her clients some space. What those sellers really want to know, as soon is possible, is this: what did the buyers think of the house? Will the buyers write an offer?
They want showing feedback.
Few showing agents will provide feedback
Some listing agents do not request showing feedback at all because the majority of buyers’ agents will not take the time to respond (probably 1/3 to 1/2, if that). Many of these agents believe that “the only important feedback is an offer“. However, that’s not everyone. A good number of Realtors who work with home sellers do follow up with showing agents, though, either by phone (calling personally or asking an assistant to do it) or by email, usually using an automated system such as the one provided by our key safe service, through our personal websites or services we contract with (showingfeedback.com or homefeedback.com or others).
With electronic feedback, usually the listing agent can either have the information come only to himself or herself or also to be copied directly to the sellers. Sometimes the feedback is not only brutal, it’s downright rude, so normally I do not have my sellers get the feedback directly. Selling is hard enough without getting insulted in the process.
Why don’t buyers’ agents give showing feedback after visiting a listing?
So the question at hand is why the buyers’ agents so seldom volunteer their buyers’ reactions to the viewed home. Here are the usual reasons, for the most part in order of prominence:
- The agent is simply too busy with running her or his real estate practice to respond (and the buyer isn’t interested, at least not then). This is especially true if returning a phone call is involved.
- The buyer’s agent does not want to respond for fear that it could negatively impact negotiations later (the buyer may be interested, but the agent may not want to be overly complimentary or negative).
- Many agents think that by providing feedback, they are “helping the listing agent with marketing”, and they don’t want to do that.
- Some listing agents will use the feedback against the buyer’s agent later, if there’s an offer. (I’ve had this happen to me!)
- The house or condo may look fine, but the inspections or disclosures (or lack of them) may be scaring the buyer off.
- Possibly, the buyer is not serious or ready – this can happen with relocation buyers on their first trip to an area. Showings to them are primarily to give them a feel for the market. Most Realtors in Santa Clara County will only show homes to pre-qualified or pre-approved buyers, but not all.
- On occasion, the listing agent is showing a client who plans to list his or her house for sale in the near future, and wants to better understand the competition.
- Lack of organization – the agent means to complete the survey, return the call or respond to the email, but it simply falls through the cracks.
What can be done to improve the odds of getting real estate showing feedback?
It is a helpful favor when agents do provide showing feedback, though. The odds improve on a response when the request comes via email (it’s less intrusive and faster) and the number of questions is limited. The longer the survey, the less likely someone is to complete it. Also helpful is providing a photo and some details of the house as most Realtors will need a memory jog. Finally, the request needs to come promptly, not a month later! By then it will be a forgotten home!
The program I use has only 4 questions with a scale of 1 to 5 (poor, fair, average, good, excellent), requesting info on just a few things and a spot to add comments:
Silicon Valley home sellers can help to get feedback too