For those of you who are Buying

drewemMay 18, 2012

My house has currently been on the market since Feb. 1. I would like to point out some common sense things to buyers that seem to be forgotten.

Only visit if you are serious. I am not on the market just to show off my nice custom lights, or kitchen. If you haven't sold, don't have the money to buy right now, or if you are looking for a 'friend' I am not interested.

Please leave things the way you found them. If you see the lights are on, leave them that way. If the shower curtain is closed, please close it again after peeking into the shower.

Please call if you are not going to keep your appointment.And call before the scheduled time, not hours later. Remember, we took the time to clean and prepare for your visit, and removed ourselves, kids, pets, etc from the house just so you could see it.

Don't ask for crazy hours to see the house. Say 5:00 to 6:00, NOT 5:15 to 6:15 etc.

If for some odd reason your request is denied, try again with a better time. Don't just walk away in a huff. That just shows you really aren't a serious buyer.

Please give specific,constructive feedback. Don't say 'The development doesn't have enough trees'. You aren't buying the development, just the house which has 11 trees. If you did your research you would see the age of the development and see the reason for the lack of 'mature' trees.

Don't take the for sale sign as a free pass to walk directly in my back yard to have a look around. Don't stalk my house with your camera. There are pictures online.

Always assume someone is home when you are being a stalker.

Use google maps, and do your research before wasting my time. If you did then you would see that the power lines are a quarter of a mile away.

Just had to get that off my chest. Thank you.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to say that as a home buyer some of your rant seems unreasonable to me. 5:15 is not a "crazy" time, unless it happens to be 5:15am. Even through I take a good look at homes before I ask to see the inside I am not a stalker. And do you really expect buyers to do through research of both the street view and the entire neighborhood? Not every buyer has the luxury of time and familiarity with the region to be as thorough as you wish.

I think most people realize that selling a home is disruptive and stressful, and most people try to be reasonable and respectful. However, before you accuse buyers of not being serious because timing doesn't work out, keep in mind that you are in a huff over lights being turned off and a shower curtain being moved. One might think that you are not a serious seller. Of course, I realize that is not true, but do you see how that cuts both ways?

You do sound frustrated by the process, and I am sorry to hear that. Good luck to you in selling your home.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very few showings and zero offers, right?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Take a chill pill!
At least half of your requests are silly at best. Being a seller in a down market IS frustrating, but you ned to deal with it in a more constructive manner.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When we put our house on the market, I hope we are lucky enough to have stalkers, people requesting "crazy times" (heck, I would be okay with 5AM!), etc. :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"If for some odd reason your request is denied, try again with a better time."

When we put our next house up on the market, I'd better have a real good reason to turn away a possible buyer. And I would not be surprised if they don't come back.

It would always nag me that they were the "one that got away".

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm very much against drugs, but in this case you might want to get a valium prescription from your doctor so that you can survive selling without giving yourself a heart attack. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The thing you have to remember is that yours is NOT the only house a buyer is looking at. That 5:15 time request? That's because that's when my buyer and I will be able to get to your neighborhood and home...not to make you crazy. Not scheduling that time to make you uncomfortable.

If you can't accomodate a buyer when they ask, they will move on to the next house on the list...and may fall madly in love with it. They'll never be back to yours.

I do a lot of research online about neighborhoods and homes. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING takes the place of setting foot inside the neighborhood and walls. The feel of the place is hugely important to buyers. I can't tell you how many times a buyer has been disappointed that a home in real life didn't live up to the photos online. Or vice versa.

If you are selling FSBO, you might look into some books on the subject. If not, have a long chat with your agent. He or she may be able to reassure you what you are going through is normal.

Good luck with your sale.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had to respond to your "crazy times" comment. When I showed buyers multiple houses in a single day I always mapped out the most efficient route and tried to estimate an earliest possible arrival time and latest possible arrival time. I always believed it most professional and polite to be as accurate as possible thus the 5:15 showings. I thought it would be less disruptive for sellers and would prevent early or late arrivals. When working with new clients one never knows if they will be the type that can view a house quickly or if they will spend 20 minutes in a house they don't like. There are many things to consider and many unknowns.

BTW--Often buyers cannot pinpoint exactly what they don't like about a house. They just know they don't like it, thus the silly feedback.

Selling a house isn't convenient. The sooner you learn this, the less stressful it will be for you.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do agree with some of his listed items. The OP may have had some bad results with either agents or potential buyers. I know when we were selling and living in a mountain area, we had people just show up and want to go thru the house etc and we told them NO, only with your agent. Being isolated and in a high fire area is just using common sense. As to the feedback, our first agent just did not know a rural area, the use of septic tanks, the water system etc, and expected us to tell the buyers every thing. The next agent lied about everything and finally the 3rd agent sold it within 30 days. She understood rural property. Some of the agents had lied to her also. She also sold several other properties in the area. Sometimes seller's have reasons that we know nothing about involving both buyers and agents.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Returned home from a showing on Saturday. There were crumbs all over the kitchen floor. There was pee on the toilet seat. The bathroom towel was used, very wet. The interior door to the garage was left slightly open and unlocked. Toys were played with.

See why I am so fustrated? Especially the pee and crumbs. Peanut allergies are in my house and I didn't know if the crumbs were peanutbutter crackers, and had to disinfect the kitchen and toys that were played with. Not to mention the bathroom.

What if we had another showing scheduled for immediately after those people left? Then those people think that the house isn't maintained and is messy.

Just use common sense and leave things the way you left them. Be curtious.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am particularly frustrated myself with Realtors and clients who just don't show up, particularly when the showing is at dinnertime or shortly thereafter.

Our place is always show-ready (no kids) but we won't cook if there is a showing.

We have had one Realtor not show up with various clients 3 or 4 times. He does not like the HOA, so he always schedules it last, and if the client is tired, he blows it off. (Because in his mind no one would seriously consider it anyway.)

Can I even say anything to him in this market? Nope.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Drewem, Find out the name of the buyer's agent and call and give 'em hell. What he or she allowed to happen during the showing was inappropriate.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you to all who are sympathetic, and understanding. To those of you who think I am unreasonable, I hope you have a wonderful time with your next home sale.
We did complain to our agent, who said he would pass it along. The other agent's business card was all crumpled and had chocolate on it, so not sure if he will even listen or care.

It looks like it is the norm to have inconsiderate people out there looking at houses. And yes, I do expect you to research what you are looking at. Would you buy a major appliance without checking the reviews? A home is a major purchase. It only takes a few minutes to look online. Have a few tabs open, one on google maps, one on your real estate search, and look at things.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about a list for unreasonable sellers.

If someone wants to show your house at 5:15 instead of 5:00, don't complain. Thank them.

If someone calls for a showing, say yes. Don't expect them to come back otherwise.

Don't expect any feedback. Nobody is required to list off the things they don't like about your property to tell you how to improve. If you want help staging your property to appeal to the most buyers, pay someone to do it.

Expect people to walk into your back yard. You are asking them to pay a lot of money for it, so be open.

Expect people to take their own pictures. They want to remember the things that are important to them, not just what you chose to put online to make your house look the most appealing.

Don't expect buyers to "google" anything. They scheduled a showing to see it with their own eyes. If you have key things you wan them to know, include them in your listing.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you missed my point. You can look at the backyard. When you scheduled appointment time is. Not during the middle of the day when you think I am not home, and you have no appointment. You can take pictures, at your appointment. Not drive up to the house, snap a pic and then drive off like a bat out of hell. You look like someone who is interested in robbing the place at night.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Obviously the potential buyers on Saturday had a kid or kids who ate some cookies and touched the toys. I'll also assume one of the kids used the bathroom. Not everyone has someone or somewhere they can drop their kids off. If that is your worst complaint count yourself lucky.

Seriously, you will give yourself an ulcer or worse if you don't accept that the masses aren't like those who post here and care about being the best buyer/seller. It is what it is ... you need to accept it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that leaving a mess in a home that you are viewing or traipsing through the back yard without an appointment are unacceptable. Taking a picture the front of the house from the street? How do you think Google street view gets their pictures?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh good lord. Now you want people to stop taking pictures of the outside of your house from the street! Come on. This has to be a joke posting.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is completely understandable to be challenged by the disruptions of selling your home. I think most people understand that selling and buying a house is stressful to all parties. However, you phrased your complaints as a set of overbearing instructions to people who are under no obligation to follow your rules and will probably never even see your house.

What was your goal when you started this thread? Do you want a virtual ((hug)) and encouragement as you go through the process, or do you want to change the behavior of every potential buyer? The first is easy if you just ask for it, but the second is not possible and people responded accordingly.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's my suggestion if you find someone traipsing around your yard: walk outside and say, "can I help you?" Chances are they'll be startled and apologetic. Use it as an opportunity to be magnanimous and give them a sales pitch: offer them a flyer on the home, talk up the features, steer them to the pictures online, and invite them to come back for a scheduled showing if they like what they see.

If they ask if they can see it now, you can demur with an apologetic-sounding, "I'm so sorry, we're right in the middle of preparing dinner for our kids. Could we schedule it tomorrow at 3pm?"

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have to be prepared to be inconvenienced during the entire process.

People will show up an hour late and still want to look.
People will cancel at the last minute or not cancel and not show.
People will show up early and still want to look.

You will get feedback that the price is too high.
You will get feedback that the price is low.
You will get feedback that they don't get the architecture.
You will get complaints that you have stairs in a two story property.
You will get negative feedback about things that are way beyond your control, like the neighborhood.
People will Google you, people will look online at your tax records. People will seem to be stalking you on Facebook.
They might track in dirt on a rainy day. They will smudge your walls. They will look in the refrigerator. They will open and close curtains. They might look under your bed.

And you will say
"Thanks, and may I have some more, sir" because unfortunately you aren't in the driver's seat in this situation.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I sold a home a few years ago during the darkest days of the recession. I jumped through hoop after hoop for potential buyers. It was frustrating and demoralizing but we always were accomodating We wanted to sell the house and were willing to do what it takes.

I am also a very recent home looker/buyer. Some houses throw off a vibe that the a seller is going to be a major hassle. Some things that made me nervous were difficulty getting a showing, lots of seller comments or instructions before the showing, lots of "stuff" in the house, etc.

There are plenty of houses in my market so unless I LOVED a house that throws off the difficulty vibe, I passed. Just food for thought.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think this house will be on the market for quite some time....

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I sold a house last year and bought one this year. So I can see this from the point of view of both a seller and a buyer.

Yes, people shouldn't walk in your backyard outside of the showing time. And, yes, they shouldn't make a mess in the house.

And, I absolutely know how frustrating it is to get the house ready to show, leave and then find out they didn't show or are super late.

However, the other complaints are just over the top. I was astonished to see a complaint about people driving by and taking pictures from the road. DH and I routinely did this when we were looking. Before going and seeing houses we usually previewed the house and area as part of our research. Doing this would really knock out a lot of the houses that looked OK in the listing. As a seller I would rather a buyer drive by and reject the house than make an appointment and have me have to get ready for a showing and then come in and spend 2 minutes at the house and reject it.
And, yes, I took photos so I would keep track of the houses and features.

As far as detailed feedback. Of course, as a seller I like detailed feedback. But, as a buyer, I realize that can be difficult for the buyer agent to give. We didn't always tell her all of our feelings about a house. On the house we ended up offering on and buying, she probably had no idea we were even considering it when we left from the showing. Other times we may mention specific items but there may be many items that were relevant that I didn't feel moved to comment on. And, it isn't the buyer's job to give you feedback. If you really are going to put much weight on it, then hire a stager.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just went through the process--as a matter of fact, settlement is next Tues.

To me?

Please come to my house--serious, or not. As long as you've taken a look, you may mention it to a friend who is also looking who may find my house perfect. Neighborhood looky-loo's are more than welcome to the open houses. Word of mouth is often the best advertisement. And the more people milling around, the better, so that the serious lookers think there's a lot of interest in the property.

If you don't want people to use your towels? Put out pretty disposable ones.

I NEVER turned down a showing, not even if it was inconvenient--NOT even the evening when my niece was in from Arizona and had only a few hours to get together with us--we met her a little later, but our house was ready and we were there to greet the potential buyers before we left them to look on their own. Oh--I said potential buyers? They ended up BEING our buyers--glad I didn't turn down THAT showing!!!

How would your lookers know that allergies were a problem in your home? Why not post a pretty, politely worded note on the front door, to the effect that "because of health issues, we respectfully ask that you not bring food into our home"? (I printed up a pretty, flower-bordered note about not letting the cats out) Or be there to meet them so you can make the request in person (we always met our lookers, and left them our phone # in case there were questions). Better yet, supply your own treats--safe ones--I always baked something wonderfully aromatic (brownies or ginger muffins or apple cinnamon cookies)--makes the house smell and feel homey.

Crazy hours? I WANT to sell my house, please feel free to arrange to come anytime that's convenient to you.

Photos? Take all you want, that means there's something about my house that interests you.

Walking around the property if I'm not here? If you're just looking, and don't damage or change anything? Feel free.

Toys? I put out toys for children of lookers--to make them feel at home, and to occupy them so their parents had time to look thoroughly.

Of course, I agree with
people not making a mess in the house.
Calling to cancel if not able to make an appt.
Researching the area if you think you might be interested.

As others have said showing a home to sell it IS an inconvenience. But the more you're willing to accomodate lookers, the quicker you're going to FIND a buyer. As a seller myself, I was glad for any bit of interest, knowing it might be the seed that grew into a sale. Agents all seem to know each other in my area--be too difficult, and word will get out--a lot of them may not want to deal with the seller who has all the 'rules' and complaints. If you truly want to sell in a timely manner, I'd relax and go with the flow, remembering that you WANT people to be interested, too feel at home, and to spend as long as possible in your home on the showing days.

Bottom line? Everyone has their own opinion--not everyone feels as you, so I do hope that potential buyers reading this thread don't take your 'rules' too seriously. Most serious sellers really aren't that rigid, and are more than happy to work with anyone who might be even a little interested in their property.

Oh, just a note--in a terrible economy, in a neighborhood where many houses have been languishing on the market for 2-3 years.... we sold ours in 6 weeks, for MORE than any house in this neighborhood has brought in about 4 years!

Good luck selling the house, hope you're as lucky as we, and sell as quickly.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you just are floating trial balloons to see the market response you'll get because you might like to upgrade, then FYI, this isn't 2005 where people will knock your door down with offers above asking and no inspection. You are one among a hundred or more. Buyers are scare and precious creatures and you have to court them, not PO them by being difficult to deal with. The selling process is a PIA, but you suck it up, put on your big girl panties, and you deal with it because you have to--IF you need to sell.

So, if you don't really need to sell, take your home off the market and save yourself a lot of stress. If you actually do have to sell, then take a tranquilizer and hire a stager. And, probably lower your price. If you've been on the market since February and haven't had that many showings, then it's usually your price. People will deal with a difficult seller if the price is right. But, a high price and a difficult seller? That's the kiss of death.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Perhaps the best advise I can give as a response is that if showing your home is so inconvenient and bothering to you, perhaps you should lower your asking price to the level where it would prompt an immediate sale.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can put instructions to realtors in the listing. We viewed a house recently where the realtor had to call the dogs by name, pet them, and let them outside to pee. The realtor is the home buying/selling professional and ultimately the one who's responsible for letting people into your home and its care while they are there visiting.

I can also say our realtor's been diligent about leaving the house in the same shape. i.e. If I turned the bathroom light off (by habit), he went back thru and turned it on.

I agree with this poster:
-Perhaps the best advise I can give as a response is that if showing your home is so inconvenient and bothering to you, perhaps you should lower your asking price to the level where it would prompt an immediate sale.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Get real. You're not serious enough about selling to do what it takes here. That's fine, if you pull your house off the market, but you are making yourself crazy by trying to go into this half heartedly. Worse, you are getting a reputation as "the difficult house" that will translate to the future when you might really have to sell. Once you are really serious, you may find that you have to underprice your house to overcome the ill will you've generated in the market.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sorry, I should have stated that these are the unspoken, common sense rules of buying. You people think I have these rules in writing, and therefore it is the difficult house. No, nothing is in writing. IT IS JUST COMMON SENSE. I can tell the majority of you don't have common sense.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your rules aren't common sense. About half of them are just flat wrong for someone trying to sell.

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that nothing should be done to inconvenience you in any way, but have no hesitation about inconveniencing your potential buyers.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with OP. People need to respect eachother's properties and lives.

I'm guessing that people who disagree with my statement may have something to do with the conditions of public toilets. I always say: do people do this (the mess in the bathrooms, toilets clogged...) in their own homes? SOMEBODY leaves the toilets in horrid conditions. I'm guessing it's the people who are rude and don't care-it's not their property.

I try to be a considerate buyer, and when selling, I pretty much "roll over" and take it, but it's not right that many people are disrespecful.

OP's rules are common sense. Unfortunately, if you want to sell quickly, you need to go out of your way to accomodate the buyers, and that means do whatever it takes to sell.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The OP doesn't like people taking pictures of the house from the street. What is common sense about that? They don't want appointments scheduled at 5:15 and wants them only on hour increments. That is just crazy OCD, not commom sense. The OP is turning down showings and expecting people to reschedule. Is that common sense?

But yes, you should expect people to not trash your house. If they look in the bathtub but don't re-close the curtain? Or maybe they turn off a light based on habit instead of leaving it on? Oh the horror!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find the idea of it being "common sense" to schedule a visit at 5:00 instead of 5:15 pretty amusing.

Our buyers did not give us credible feedback, and they didn't owe us any. They don't work for us, so they don't have to share their opinions. "Not enough trees" isn't feedback - it's just a way of saying "we're not putting in an offer".

The only time we got upset was when a buyers' realtor forgot to lock our front door, leaving it unlocked an entire day. Now THAT was wrong, and our realtor contacted them to let them know. Shower curtains being moved doesn't even merit a comment, frankly.

We had one set of buyers who called for a showing when we entertaining about 15 family members at a dinner celebration. We just waved when the buyers and realtor arrived, and offered to let them to pull up a chair. They just laughed, and made an offer the next day.

If you want to sell your home to human beings, you kind of have to let them be humans beings with actual lives, work schedules, children, etc etc. Otherwise you'll be pretty disappointed.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When we sold our condo last year, someone came through one of the open houses and somehow knocked a Costco-sized bottle of liquid laundry detergent onto the floor, bursting the bottle and spilling its entire contents all over the laundry room floor underneath the machines and all. I can't even imagine how since it was pushed back on a high shelf. Our real estate agent disavowed any knowledge of what happened.

Now that was annoying!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel for the OP, but I agree that you have to tolerate buyers and learn to live with it.

We sold 3 yrs ago and I would never want to go through that again. Took 3 months for the first offer and people came at all times, day and night. We lived close to NYC so we would get people coming after work and had many evening showings.

All our weekends were shot. Couldn't plan anything because the house had to be clean and we had to leave.

One thing which helped was our Realtor tried to be present at each showing. I don't know how she did it, but she would arrange the showings to fit her schedule. I know many people don't like having the listing agent present, but for us it worked.

We always got feedback because she was there. She kept an eye on what went on, although she didn't follow anyone around. I think presence was enough to prevent problems.

I don't know if your agent could come during showings. It would help.

I did find people showing up, unannounced unnerving. Our house was set back from the road quite a distance, and occassionally someone would be near the door or in the yard taking pictures. It would startle me and I didn't like it. I almost called the police on a few occassions.

Now I'm a buyer and I try to respect a house and a schedule. Sometimes missing an appointment can't be predicted, it happens. I always turn off lights and close doors.

Selling takes a lot of patience and strength. You are probably new to the process, hopefully your house sells quickly and you can be done with it. If not, you'll learn to 'roll with punches.'

Good luck,

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just read a post about prospective buyers not only ignoring the "please remove your shoes" request (which could be a whole other thread) but then they chain-smoked the entire showing, leaving a cigarette butt in the master bedroom toilet.
(This was witnessed by the patient Realtor waiting outside with his buyers for his appointment, who noted that there were no signs inside that it would be okay to smoke, such as ashtrays)
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse....

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Up in a resort area nearby, where there are a lot of seasonal homes for sale, realtors will put additional signs on the For Sale sign saying, "Occupied. Showings by appointment only." Perhaps this would deter some people from walking into your backyard or peeking in your windows?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:52PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
For those of you who have swapped out your brass hardware....
For those of you who have swapped out your brass hardware,...
How soon is "too soon" to select a realtor?
Not planning to sell until about this time next year....
Why would nosey realtor say these things?
It is clear my house lacks a wow factor. I over de-cluttered...
Best time to List a House
Is there a best time to list a house for sale? We have...
something to check when buying a home (pets/carpet)
something i wish i'd checked out before purchasing...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™