Sellers, put the darn flyers in the box already!

ladynimueJuly 1, 2008

Feeling frustrated and annoyed in Denver area, ugh!

Yesterday we spent several hours looking around various neighborhoods and our buyers agent has asked that we make note of any homes we see so she can put them on the schedule for viewings tomorrow.

Well, only two, TWO out of dozens of homes with For Sale signs, had a flyer in their box. Why even bother with a box if they aren't going to keep it stocked? Do they really think we're going to be so impressed with their front yard that we won't care how many bedrooms they have or other interior features the home has to offer?

Is it really so hard to get extra copies from the agent or go down and make some copies yourself?

We were also annoyed by the FSBO signs with Appointment Only blaring out at us - and no flyers to tempt us to make the effort to note their address and phone number and later remember to take the time to call them to make an appointment and drive back to their area.

I'm venting, obviously. It was frustrating, we would have loved to have learned more about some of those homes or viewed one of the FSBO's.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"We were also annoyed by the FSBO signs with Appointment Only blaring out at us - and no flyers to tempt us to make the effort to note their address and phone number and later remember to take the time to call them to make an appointment and drive back to their area."

I can understand the frustration with respect to the flyers (or lack thereof), but were you really surprised about the appointment only requirement? Just because someone is trying to sell their house that doesn't mean that they are going to allow complete strangers into their house at any time of the day or night just because they happened to be driving by and/or knocked on their door and wanted to see it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have to agree with the madman about FSBO and appointments. I couldn't blame a FSBO at all for wanting to have prospective buyers view their homes by appointment only.

I feel your pain with regard to flyers in the boxes, I've often been disappointed when flyer boxes were empty. Still, if the house interested me from the outside, I'd jot down the address and ask the realtor to check into it to see if it was in my price range, had the right number of bedrooms etc and was worthy of seeing. Don't pass up on a home just because someone didn't keep the box filled. You might miss "the home" if you do that.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi bethesdamaman, I was only a little frustrated by the appointment only thing - what annoyed me was that they wanted me to go through the effort of making an appointment based upon nothing but the front exterior of their home (no flyers). Since we were already there it would have been nice to take a look, but since they gave us no incentive to make an appointment we didn't bother.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if this the case or not, but I have been told that REALTORS take all of the flyers when they are put in the boxes....and it is advised to only put out a few a day..don't know if this happens in your area or not....but maybe the reason the boxes are empty.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess since I did all of my searching on-line (and then drove by houses I thought had potential) that a lack of flyers didn't bother me. What got me going was when the listing had no pictures, didn't include square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, and any other key information, or didn't list the address.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hear frustrating when there are no flyers.

When we were selling, I kept 20 or so flyers out of the box, so when my box ran dry, I could call me realtor to refill it. It usually took about a day for the new ones since they used those glossy ones, so I would stick my backups in there while we waited to be refilled.

Good luck with your house hunt! I am in Denver too and it is incredible how much is on the market.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I sold FSBO twice and always put lots of flyers in the box. I normally did approx 40 at a time.

Lots of sellers try to put out 5 or so flyers in at a time. That is plain stupid. Some folks think agents take them to derail a FSBO, others think kids will take them. I never had either situation occur. I would fill with about 40 flyers and sometimes would track the flyers and watch them dwindle down gradually. It is easier on the seller to stock a large amount rather than have to keep filling the box daily.

And if someone took a few or the stack - SO WHAT. It only costs pennies per copy. You could be losing a sale if you don't have flyers stocked.

When I FSBO'd I never put "by appointment" anywhere. I think that sounds too uninviting from the get-go. On weekends , when buyer traffic was high in my subdivsion, I made sure I stayed home between 10am and 6PM so I could show the at a moment's notice. Showing to strangers, IS what a FSBO does. If I didn't want to show to strangers, then I would have hired a realtor. Whether the stranger called 5 minutes before the showing (because looking at another home down the street) or whether the stranger set an appointment for the next day - they are still a stranger. Then again, I am a stranger to them too :)

I had several showings that took place at the last minute. I was always ready at the drop of the hat to show the home. Even on weekdays when I worked, I could run home quickly to show the place. We didn't get an requests for evening showings and really don't answer the door after dark anyway. But that was never an issue during FSBO. Folks have cell phones - they call before they come to the house - even if they are parked out front.

...We sold pretty quick and for good prices - both times.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another thing - clear flyer boxes are the way to go. I can't tell you how many times (as a buyer) that I would get out of the car and walk over to a white flyer box, open it up, only to find it empty. At least with a clear box, anyone call tell if there are flyers (or not) before they get out of the car.

So when I FSBOd, I used the clear flyer boxes. Also I hate those tubes. These days you can order anything on the internet.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We once picked up a flyer from a FSBO house. Got home and looked more closely at it, only to discover there was no address or phone number listed on the flyer. How dumb!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I get what you are saying about FSBO and when we 1st put a 4 sale sign at my dad's old house, (2005 beginning of the down slide) I never would have thought of it. We planned to list with an agent once we were done working on it, the 4 sale sign was something I did, but honestly, I didn't expect to sell FSBO. We did allow people to look while we were there & working on it.

I think some people see their neighbors selling and figure they'll throw a FSBO sign out front to see if they get any takers, if they do, fine if not, when it really is time they will get serious with FSBO or go with an agent. With the market the way it used to be, I think some sellers are still stuck in the mind set that houses sell themselves without doing much more. People were desperate for housing and if it was a reasonable price they would go for it. Buyers used to go out of their way to find housing, now sellers can't give houses away.

With fliers for houses for sale with agent, my 1st agent was decent about fliers. She was always emailing to see if I had enough. I don't recall the 2nd agent ever coming to my house to check nor did he ever ask via email. IIRC he dumped about 50 on me when we started but not once was a new MLS sheet printed by him when we had price drops. Since I made the 2nd set of fliers for the spring selling season, I made sure I always had enough. Every day I would check to see how many were in there and usually kept about 7 to 10. Since I didn't work, I usually saw cars pulling up to take them. My problem was the crappy box I was given with agent #2 the fliers would get trashed quickly.

IMO fliers should be the agents job & it's a very good question to ask when interviewing but with gas a high as it is, chances are the agent is going to count on the seller. It also should be decided who is going to print them. If it is the owner, something should be done towards the commission. Most times agents don't send the flier file via email making it easy for the seller to print and most sellers from what I've seen, could care less if they have fliers or not.

When we did sell, my hubby & I were pretty shocked we got nothing from our agent except a thanks at closing. I truly expected at least a thank you card with as much work & money as I saved him. He didn't have to drive or send his help to bring fliers plus I spent 2 weeks of my time designing it. I then got decent paper to print on. I don't doubt I used 5 cartridges of ink at $15 per cartridge.

FWIW, most agents don't impress me. There was a house by me that was supposed to be sold at sheriffs sale. The people moved out, then I noticed a new for sale sign via agent. I figured they'd listed with someone else. At one time the sign was driven over, I went out of my way to find the agent, email him to let him know about it. A few days later the sign was fixed but he never once said thank you for emailing him. It wasn't like he was local either. What a jerk. Turns out my old neighbor didn't own it any more anyway, so I stopped caring.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On a slightly unrelated note (in case this is useful for you) there are also a number of ways to look at Denver homes online. I like to use and You can do basic searches by neighborhood, etc and they are updated daily. cohomefinder also has the status (ie active vs under contract) which is nice to know up front so you don't get too interested in a house that is already "taken"

Some FSBOs are on, but I've usually had to rely on actually calling the owners they couple of times I've wanted to see one of those.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't even stop for those boxes anymore unless they're clear and I can see flyers in them.

Sweet Tea, we're going to try and sell fsbo and that was a good post-I've been having trouble wrestling with the idea of letting "strangers" in my house to show it. But they're all strangers...

Did you just let anyone in or did you make them give you info, like a copy of a driver's licence, etc? Or just "knock knock" can I look at your house, sure here it is, ok, have a nice day and never knew who they were???

'Cause if that's what it takes, I guess that's what it takes...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The best kind of flyer boxes have a clear front panel that you can insert a flyer into that stays even after the last flyer is taken out. That way at least people can see the information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Conserver flyer box

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I did FSBO, I never got DL info from lookers. Rarely, if ever, do people come knocking. They call, or email.You see their callerid info when they call.

I did quick pre-qual type questions. Not pre-qual on the money part, but asked if they had a home to sell, what they were looking for in a home, where they lived now, when they planned to move, etc. Just causual nice conversation, as they were asking about the home and I would answer questions too. Several times, I weeded out people that were NOT buyers at all and just lived very nearby and wanted to look. I would catch them in lies at times. In these cases, I would politely decline the showing. You can ALWAYS decline a showing if you don't feel comfortable with someone on the phone/email. Just let them know you won't be showing at this time due to scheduling issues (or whatever). Or plan it for when there is someone there with you. You don't have to answer your door either. Listen to your gut.

When they came for an appointment, I often allowed them in and then went out back on the patio (or the front porch, or driveway) and let them know that I was there if they had any questions. You can prep a chair/drink under a nice shade tree and that can be where you go for all showings.(I didn't worry about them taking anything from inside, because there were none there.)

Other times, I would leave before the showing with the dog, and spouse would show the home (with spouse on the patio to get out of the buyer's way, which I think is most important).

If you are scared, then take precautions, protect yourself, or just hire a realtor.

I found that buyers usually came with both spouses. Most lookers came on weekends after lunch and before dinner time.

I had a web site with many photos and posted the URL on the flyer. I think this weeded down the lookers to those that were serious. Most lookie-lous were satisfied looking at the photos on the web. I found that all peopel that toured the home had viewed the web site prior to seeing the home in person (except one couple that was from out of state, that didn't have access to a computer during their househunting trip)

I never told folks that were setting appointments when we were home and when we weren't(at work, for example). I simply set the appts and didn't tell them anything else about our schedules. I didn't say, I get home at 5, so let's set the time for 5:30. That is too much info.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Terriks mentioned conserver boxs and I don't understand why they aren't used more. I have seen one only once and I remember thinking it was a great idea!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The neighbor across the street had his home for sale and I told him at least 3 times his box was empty. He'd then call the agent and it would take another two to three days before they'd fill it. And this is suppose to be one of the "premier" realtors here.

No wonder it took him over 6 month to sell the house. The neighbors that moved in did tell me they had driven past twice before they were able to get a flyer. Their agent did call, but her calls were never returned. New neighbors wound up contacting seller direct and let him know agent wasn't returning calls.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We're interviewing realtors for our house, and there were two that didn't get back to me the first day.

Automatically off my list. I mean, if you can't be bothered to call me back for days and I want to list with you, how bad will you be to buyers and buyer's agents?

Another one couldn't get a link working that they sent me, I'm like, yeah, um, ok.

I also look at people in the neighborhood who are selling, who has a full box and a sign that's not falling over, and who's sign/box looks like it's deserted...

Also, being an editor (don't kill me for my bad grammar here-it's like the plumber who never fixes his own toilet), if a flyer has a typo, especially a really egregious one, that's the kiss of death for me (not for the house I might want to buy, but definitely for using that realtor).

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Printers/copiers are cheap. So is plain paper. Seems that it would be a good idea for sellers to keep a master copy of the flyer on hand and check the box once a day to see if they need to print more.

When I'm out driving around looking at real estate, I don't count on finding a flyer in the box. I always have a pen and paper so I can jot down the address and exterior specifics of the house in question.

When I get home, I'll see what I can find at the website of the realtor as well as check the County recorder/auditors site.

If I'm still interested, only THEN will I call the agent.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did the same thing as dreamgarden when we were looking at homes. I'd jot down the address and look it up online after we got home. That way I could take my time, look at any photos, and decide if we wanted to go see the house. The flyers are helpful but I always looked the listing up online anyway.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"When I get home, I'll see what I can find at the website of the realtor as well as check the County recorder/auditors site."

Forgot to add that its helpful to be able to compare the info at the recorders site with the info on the flyer.

If the info doesn't match, then that tells me I will need to doublecheck any other 'facts' they give me about the house.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:34AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How to Flip. Remodel doubles price of house
The prices are San Francisco values, but it's a terrific...
"discount" for all-cash, no contingency offers?
I understand that the answer "depends". However,...
Negotiating realtor commission
We are getting ready to list our house in a week or...
How soon is "too soon" to select a realtor?
Not planning to sell until about this time next year....
Seller isn't signing the sale contract
Land has been on the market for 1.5 yrs and asking...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™