Showing a Home

A lot of real estate agents fail when it comes to showing a property to a potential buyer. When I see some of the mistakes, missteps and miscues they make, it underscores why the vast majority of people in real estate never do any business.

The main goal of a good buyer’s agent is to help clients find two or three houses that will meet their needs, as opposed to the one “home of their dreams.” That may opposite to a lot of real estate ads you’ve heard or seen, but if a client falls in love with a house and they don’t get it, it makes the remaining contenders look like a disappointment. That leads to headaches and problems for everyone. An adept buyer agent helps their clients see the big picture, and it starts with the showing.

A real estate agent is not the doorman at the Four Seasons. They can’t just open the door, smile, make some small talk and wait for the next person to walk on through. I educate my agents (who in turn educate their clients) to rate houses objectively. For example, I use a scoring system asking my client to rate things on a 1-to-10 scale. It works for me, but not for everyone. The trick is to find a system that works for you in order to help you find a way to help buyers sort through an emotional decision with as little emotion as possible. The job is to help clients regard the house as a great place to live, perhaps as an investment, but not as a life partner.

Here are five easy tips:

  • Preview the property if you’re unfamiliar with it or the neighborhood. Think what your buyer will find appealing, or not, and point out those aspects accordingly during the showing.
  • Learn how to use the lockbox. Buyers start to question an agent’s skills if they spend five minutes outside in the rain watching their expert mumble obscenities at a hunk of plastic and metal.
  • Want to test if a floor is uneven? There’s something better than app for it. Carry a golf ball or a large marble. Works every time.
  • Put the phone away. Treat it like the movies. No calls, texts or scrolling while showing a house. Give your client your undivided attention.
  • Leave the house the way you found it. Aka, turn off the lights if you turned them on. Be courteous to the seller – if your buyer doesn’t even want to go in, YOU go in anyway.

Remember, a real estate agent is NOT a matchmaker (or a fiddler on the roof). A real estate agent needs to be a guide in the process of buying a home.

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