Does your house have feature sheets?

jenswrensJune 13, 2008

A question for both sellers and buyers, I guess. When selling (or for buyers, when looking), did your agent have feature sheets or other paperwork about the house sitting out for showings for potential buyers to take away with them? I know I've seen this at open houses, but is it common to have this kind of thing available for private showings also?

My agents don't have anything in my house for buyers to take, not even a card. We're supposed to have the TIH report and the Disclosure report available and those aren't here either. I thought a feature sheet would be nice, and I remember them saying they'd do that, but now I'm wondering if all that was only for an open house. What's the norm?

I've been on the market for less than a week, and I'm already starting to get fed up with everything. The first photographer sucked, the handyman she sent was a whack job with a questionable IQ, her TIH inspector did his report with a magnifying glass like he was doing a complete buyer's inspection... Next to remodeling a house and dealing with contractors, I think selling a house and dealing with agents and strangers invading your privacy, is one of the most stressful things I've done!

Here is a link that might be useful: My rant about idiotic handyman

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cordovamom

It really varied from time to time with each house I sold. Some there were no feature sheets, some had a "feature" sheet of sorts and one had a whole danged brochure with multiple pictures and school reports, copies of utility bills, neighborhood report, HOA covenants etc.

When buying again it ran the gamut of no frills to brochures. if I had to guess I'd say probably 25% of homes I saw as a buyer had "feature sheets" of some sort or another.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:29AM
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revamp

I've looked at LOTS of homes over the last 4-5 years (bought 2, sold 2) and there should ALWAYS be a "feature sheet" at a house set out for people to take with them. These can vary from just a single sheet with some pictures and highlights, to a fully bound notebook with MLS listing, multiple pics, school and city info and disclosures.

If a realtor isn't offering these at your house, then he/she isn't doing their job--ESPECIALLY in this hard-to-sell market.

imo

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:38AM
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acdesignsky

We've probably toured 100+ houses in the last 4 moves and I don't remember ever seeing a house that didn't have a Feature Sheet. 99% had a booklet of at least 3 pages of pics and info. All the houses we were selling had full color booklet.
IMO, your Realtor is being cheap.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:04PM
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patser

Yes, you should have a feature sheet and it should be nice quality. We used Edina Realty when selling our last house. Our realtor left a feature sheet that was printed on very thick paper, was in color and was glossy. There were also copies of our homeowner's disclosure report. I've included the front side of our sheet as a sample.

When we were house hunting back then, every house we looked at had one.

When the potential buyers walk out, they HAVE to have something in hand to remember your house by. They are probably looking at a number of houses and, if they are like we were, all blend together by the end of the day looking.

If your realtor isn't doing this, you are getting the very very short end of the stick.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 2:09PM
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notrafficinga

My house is vacant and there are booklets available. I use the number of booklets left to give me a rough estimate of the feedback. Some don't take booklets and I figure they didn't like it enough to enter the house or bother taking one. We are having a terrible time getting feedback from agents that show our house.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 2:46PM
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bozogardener

When we sold our house last year, the realtor made one set of feature sheets with all of the info (schools, taxes, etc) and one set of a glossy brochure that was just a tri-fold with pictures. The latter was for not-so-interested, while people who were really interested got the big set. They were professionally done and looked beautiful. I wish I had thought of what notrafficinga does; it would have been interesting how many went out the door. We were aware a lot of realtors were NOT leaving cards on the counter. (the house was vacant)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:30PM
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notrafficinga

"We were aware a lot of realtors were NOT leaving cards on the counter. (the house was vacant)"

Here, too. The lockboxes are now setup to send our agent an email when other agents use it so very few agents leave cards anymore, maybe 20 percent.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 4:13PM
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sparksals

Every single house I looked at in the TCs area had a feature sheet. My realtor gave me a clipboard with the houses we were looking at that day so I could make notes to help me remember each one. Each home had an FS that usually had pics and was a bit different from the copy of the listing that I was given by my realtor.

You are getting off to a bad start if you are getting showings and there are no FS's provided by your realtor.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 4:32PM
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jenswrens

That's just Great. And I didn't even go with the 5% guys either. I went with the more expensive agents - ugh.

After reading these replies, I called her and asked her about it and she said "oh yes, we're working on that - and then it usually takes 3-4 days to get printed." So, now I'm looking at one whole weekend without, and possibly 3-4 days next week, so ... no FS until next Thursday?

I'm thinking of making up my own little sheet and printing a couple of copies, in case there are any showings this weekend. What do you think? It wouldn't be professional, but I do have a color copier.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:04PM
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notrafficinga

I assume that you would want to hand out something (anything?) for people to remember the place. No reason it should take so long. Did your agent put any flyers in the yard? If so, grab some of those. I only know how it is in Atlanta. Some agents use the MLS data sheet in the flyer box and others do a color sheet for the flyer box and a custom book inside. I just think that it is important that they leave with something.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:33PM
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jenswrens

Nope - no flyers either. We don't even have a flyer box - just an "infoline ID number" and the agents' names and phone number. We've already had 6 showings, so that's 6 potential people out there who are already forgetting that they ever saw my house. Grrrrr...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:00PM
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cearbhaill

My realtor didn't offer anything so I made my own.
I used high quality paper, great photos of key areas, and a list of features. It was probably simple compared to something professionally produced, but I wanted them to have something to (hopefully) drool over after they got home.
I think it helped- I sold in 30 days in the ultra tough South Florida market.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:34PM
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sparksals

Is there a spot on your realtor's sign for an info tube or flyer box?

Our realtors had the FSs in a day or two, max. She also had a huge detailed binder of the schools, utilities, info about the neighbourhood, demographics, etc. She even had someone come to measure the house exactly and had the floorplan with measurements of all rooms in a plastic see thru stand frame.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 11:29AM
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sweeby

"We've already had 6 showings, so that's 6 potential people out there who are already forgetting that they ever saw my house."

If it's any consolation -- For most buyers, if yours is the house for them, they'll know it, and they won't forget it.

That said, I think a feature sheet is beneficial and in this market, expected. It's a great place to point out features a buyer might not notice and clarify things that can't be seen: which particular schools, energy efficiency, sprinkler systems, fire sprinklers, alarms, central vacuums...

And as a buyer, a sign with just the Realtor's info. annoys me. It's not always possible to tell whether a house is visit-worthy from the exterior and neighborhood. It might be out of my price range, too small, or not have key features I want. I generally won't call the Realtor to find out about it, but if there's a flyer in the info tube, that'll generally answer my basic questions.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:41PM
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theroselvr

Jen, if you go here then click on for sale or rent, it will bring you to the flier I used. You can see a little of what I put in it below. It was 2 sided, 2nd page had a map and more house photos. I used bright white paper.

What I did was print 20 at a time, I'd leave 10 in the box, then 5 or so in the house for people walking it. It allowed me to see how many people were taking the flier. I also put the MLS print out with it.

I made the flier because our MLS sheet was wrong and no matter how many times I told my agent stuff, things just didn't get fixed or put on it. Good help is hard to find I guess. This way, I knew it had the correct info. Buyers as well as agents loved how detailed it was.

You can go to home depot for a flier box.

btw, if you want a copy of my flier you can email me. I'd be glad to share it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flier sample

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 9:26AM
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janengland

I hate to be a hard case, but you need to step into her. Fliers should have been available within a few days of putting house on the market. Another three or four days ? Unacceptable. Tell her (don't ask) that you need to speak to her broker if she can't stick to her marketing plan. If it gets adversarial, so be it. Times are waaay too tough, and her commission waay too high for her to be stringing you along like that. Since you've hired a less than enthusuastic agent (at least from what I've read) make her earn her commission. It's that simple

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 2:52PM
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graywings123

My experience is that when an agent screws up early in the the process, the agent will continue to screw up as long as he or she is around. Don't allow this to drag on, and don't assume it will get better.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:35PM
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jenswrens

And as a buyer, a sign with just the Realtor's info. annoys me. [...]I generally won't call the Realtor to find out about it, but if there's a flyer in the info tube, that'll generally answer my basic questions.

sweeby, I am exactly the same way when I am searching for houses - I'd much rather get the initial info on my own without having to talk to someone. Those REAs generally want to ask you a million questions too. They all think they can find you a house "if this one's not right" and then, IME, proceed to turn around and try to show you every house that is exactly NOT the type you're even remotely interested in. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's what happened yesterday after our agent showed the house to a buyer who had called the infoline. They didn't like our house, and I think she probably spent the rest of the day with them looking for other houses for them. The agents prefer the infoline number with no flyers and get excited when someone calls them because my sign is providing them other business. But I digress...

Thanks patser for showing me your FS - it helped me make one for this weekend.

And roselvr, that's a great starting point! I've downloaded the template and will play around with it today to make something even better than what I had.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:43AM
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theroselvr

Jen, you can actually use the one I linked to to incorporate pasters and something like what I did. It shouldn't be hard to move the features part to page 2, and use page 1 for photos.

My main thing was all the stuff we've recently done, I wasn't worried about photos or showing the house off as much since anyone grabbing it was already in my house or driving by and saw what it looked like. Since the house appeared smaller then what it actually was, I needed the room sizes and square footage to be the main stuff.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 12:45PM
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