It Pays To Be Flexible

The story goes like this. An agent with buyers wants to see a home on short notice. The sellers have indicated in the MLS they need a 24-hour notice for showings. But the buying agent asks the selling agent if they can see the house with only a two-hour notice. The selling agent asks the sellers and they say no, but insist they’d like to set it up for another time. The sellers never hear from the buying agent again because the buyers went up the street to see a house they could get into and bought it later that day.

What’s the moral of this story? Be flexible. I know it’s difficult to have your home ready in a moment’s notice, but this is still a buyers’ market, and they are in control. For years realtors have loosely used the term “there are only a handful of buyers out there.” Now, however, it’s actually true. So when they come through your neighborhood, you better be ready.

I tell my sellers to keep their homes show-ready at all times. And I mean all times – when they leave for work, when they leave for vacation and when they leave to go shopping for the afternoon. Agents will tell you most of the time if they’re lucky they’ll get a day’s notice that a buyer wants to go out and shop. Most of the time buyers call and ask if they can go see homes later that same day. Changing plans to accommodate buyers puts everyone in a tough position, including agents, but that’s how it goes.

You may be thinking that a 24-hour notice request generally only applies to high-end listings. Yes, traditionally that has been true. But the bigger problem I’ve seen is when homes of all price ranges don’t look their best for showings or they aren’t even available. In this market, every showing and that’s every showing counts.

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