Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Q. This isn't a question, really, it's a request.

I see that you have photos of some of the homes that are on the market up on a bulletin board in your window. My house is currently for sale and I don't want you to put the photo of my house on your board. I don't want everybody in the universe to know I'm selling. My personal business is my personal business.

A. Well I'm happy to comply with your request but you obviously don't realize that the whole world does indeed, know that your house is for sale, even if the photo is out of my own window. When you list your home for sale, the listing broker puts your home on the multiple listing service site. That instantaneously is picked up by every real estate office in the region and goes on their sites. We each pay a substantial fee to have every listing come up on our personal and business web sites.

In addition, it comes up on several private sites around the world, like Zillow, although these sites can often be very inaccurate. People looking for a home on Vashon Island form anywhere in the world, will you see your home and read about all of its features. That's one of the main reasons for listing it; to get that broad exposure. Even if you were trying to sell it without being on the multiple listing service the information would be available to the universe, as you put it, the minute you put it on any website.

I know it can feel invasive to a very private person to have their home in the newspapers and viewed on the Internet, but this is how your home will get sold and that should be your primary concern right now. People will come looking through your home, and, if you're lucky, someone will buy it. The best bet, in my opinion, is to do everything you can to make that happen quickly. Then you can move on with your life and begin to restore your privacy.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Q: I've had my place on the market for months now and I'm getting really exasperated with agents.

Some show up late, some come early, some forget to call me five minutes before they come so I can put the dog in the run, etc. Why can't you people keep to a schedule?

A: Congratulations on having a lot of showings! In our current market you are very lucky to have so much interest. There are many reasons why brokers may not be able to meet your requirements for showings. Keep in mind that almost no potential buyers are coming out to see just your home. They will be touring five to eight homes, on average, that are in the same price range.

Brokers setting up a two to three hour tour of showings, which is average, do the best we can to estimate the time we will arrive at your home. Many things can interfere with that timetable. The clients can be late or they can take far more time at a particular house than we anticipated.

We sometimes are asked to call a seller just before showing up at their home and most of us try to accommodate that. It's easy, however, to forget to so that or be so intent on the conversation we are having with the buyers that it slips our mind.

Homes that are difficult to show or make special demands on showings may end up on the bottom of our list of potential homes. If it becomes to burdensome, it's tempting to just stop going to that particular home, especially at a time like this when there are so many nice homes available.

Everyone has a different reason for selling and it's hard to try to have a normal life while your house is on the market, I understand that. But your goal is to sell the house. The harder or more complicated you make it to show the home, the longer you will be on the market and the fewer brokers will plan to include it in their tours.