Realtors aren’t known for being longheaded – they just do what they see everyone else doing. In an industry that is virtually unregulated and has no leaders, we are left with a full assortment of real estate practices – AKA the wild, wild west.
Recently, a client called me about a house that had a ‘Coming Soon’ sign in front. I called the phone number on the sign, and of course had to leave a message. The listing agent did call back, and said that the home wasn’t able to be seen for two weeks.
I called my potential buyers back, and here’s what we covered:
1. We googled the address, hoping the agent would have uploaded the listing with vivid new photos to Zillow, or perhaps we’d find it on the company website. But no new listing was found.
I checked the address in the MLS, and found that it had been sold just a few short years ago – and previous photos were still available. They were the typical photos, done with an instamatic camera on a dark day with lights off. The photos mostly featured bedding fashions from 15-20 years ago.
My buyers’ initial enthusiasm started to fade.
2. We then hit Google Maps to gather as much intel as we could from the sky. But as usual in tract neighborhoods, it looked like there wasn’t much yard, and neighbors were close by and imposing. By now, I could hear their high hopes flying out the window.
3. The new list price seemed to be in line, but, as usual, our conversation steered to the six-figure gain above what the sellers paid for it. Did they do any major improvements to warrant such a jackpot?
If the price is the same as others nearby, chances are that no improvements were made – otherwise the sellers would insist on pricing higher than everyone else. So we came to another logical conclusion – in two weeks we are going to see virtually the same house as when the sellers bought it, at the higher price.
4. Annoyed and disappointed, we wondered why an agent would be so casual about throwing out a ‘Coming Soon’ sign. The frustration in the marketplace turns people into skeptics quickly, and the obvious conclusion was that the agent’s intent was to find their own buyer, and double-end the commission.
The end result? My motivated buyers talked themselves right out of buying this house. We’ll probably check it out eventually, but we already expect to find an original-looking house with small yard surrounded by neighboring houses being offered by greedy sellers and an agent we don’t know if we can trust.
Buyers prefer to see a house right away, but are used to having to wait a bit. Thus, the Coming Soon sign should go up 1-2 days before showings commence, not two weeks – all that does is encourage buyers to forget about it.