Sellers sometimes call me to ask why I haven’t shown their house. A lot of times it’s just because it hasn’t been a fit for the buyers I’m working with, i.e. my clients are generally second home buyers and a house may be a more primary style, or it’s in a range that I don’t handle. But often there are other reasons, some of which a seller may be clueless about.
1. I don’t know about your house. I spend a lot of time staying on top of available inventory to show my clients, but something about how your house is listed may keep it from hitting my radar. The most common reason is that your listing agent hasn’t coded it correctly. This past weekend, there was a great example of that. I was out with some clients looking at mid range motorboat lakefront houses. Driving through Swinging Bridge, I noticed a house with a For Sale sign on it that hand’t come up on searches for motorboat lakefront houses that looked like it could be a fit. I didn’t have time to call to set it up right then because we were on a right schedule, but when I got home I found the listing. Lo and behold, the agent hadn’t coded it as ‘motorboat’, a coding option available in the MLS, so when I searched for motorboat lake houses, it never came up. Incompletely coded or midcoded listings can be largely invisible in searches. A misspelled address or the lack of a “geocode” can keep a listing from showing up on map based searches, an increasingly common search method.
Related to this is you’ve listed with an out-of-county agent who doesn’t belong to the Sullivan MLS. West or north of Monticello, the number of agents who belong to both the Sullivan and Hudson Gateway MLSs drops sharply, so the further you go from the ‘border crossover’ area in the southern part of Sullivan, the greater likelihood that agents with buyers won’t know about your house. Even for those of us who are members of both systems, Hudson Gateway is a secondary system, and not where we spend most of our time – so a house only listed there isn’t as top of mind.
2. I couldn’t reach your agent to arrange a showing. Most agents are very responsive, but some aren’t. Sullivan isn’t the city, and none of us working here expect an instant response, but there are some agents who may take two days to respond to a showing request. Some agents only include an office number in their listings, making it difficult to reach anyone if the office is closed. In any event, if I can’t reach your agent (or a booking assistant, if they have one), your house doesn’t get shown.
3. Your agent couldn’t reach you to set up the showing. This is surprisingly common when a seller requests a confirmation, or requires a specific appointment time. You’d be surprised at the number of sellers who don’t respond to their agent in a timely manner.
4. Your agent has to be present for the showing, and we can’t coordinate a time. Some agents make this a selling point in getting listings, that they’re always present for showings. Or it may be a requirement that you have. But in either case, it reduces the number of showings your house will get, because adding a third party to the scheduling mix (the seller’s agent, in addition to the buyers’ agent and the buyers) increases the difficulty of scheduling a showing, and virtually eliminates the possibility of a short notice showing. The easier your house is to show, the more it’s going to get shown.
5. You rent the house out on weekends, so it can only be shown on weekdays. Second home buyers come up on weekends, not weekdays. So if you do weekend rentals, your house isn’t going to get shown. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
6. The photos on your listing are poor. This isn’t directly related to the logistics of arranging a showing, but whether your house makes the potential show list at all. Buyers usually scroll through hundreds of listings before they pick some to see, and without compelling photos they’ll surf right over you. Likewise, good photos are a key factor in my picks as well.
7. Your house is overpriced. If your house is grossly overpriced, it’s a waste of my time and my clients’ time to show it. I’ll often include houses with asking prices 15% or even 20% over where I think they should sell, but unlikely to include houses that are overpriced by 25% or 30%, regardless of how much your listing agent tells me you’re ‘motivated’. If you’re that motivated, then drop your asking price to within negotiating distance of a supportable sale price.