You Want to Preview My Home? Buzz off, Ebert.

I have seen my share of thumbs down houses over the years.  It’s a sad truth, but for every summer blockbuster, there is a Real Estate Gigli.  Properties that look so promising in the MLS trailer fall flat despite the star-studded cast.  Granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, new carpet, manicured back yard … a quick read-through of the script tells you that the home should be a smash hit.  Only when you see it on the big screen do you realize that the photos omitted the faux oak paneling throughout the entire downstairs, or the sunken conversation pit in the living room.  You never know where Rosemary’s Baby may be lurking behind the pleasing marketing facade that a savvy listing agent has erected to entice showings.

Enter the Real Estate sneak preview.

Knowing all too well that I am performing preliminary recon, sellers will occasionally grill me as to my intentions when I arrive for a preview appointment.  As I circumnavigate the home, they give me the unabashed hairy eyeball treatment reserved for ex-cons, Realtors, bankers, lawyers and ill-mannered guests who don’t sit on the plastic.  Believe it or not, though, the preview does not merely serve as an arbiter of a buyer agent’s pass/fail verdict.  It is a crash course in product awareness.

To those who would disallow Realtor previews because they anticipate the reports will discourage potential buyers from viewing the home, allow me first to offer a mild rebuke, and then to assuage your fears.  First, disallowing preview appointments will have the opposite than desired effect.  Like the producer of straight to DVD smut who would sooner pay a personal assistant a livable wage than allow an advance screening for critics, you are telling wily Real Estate agents that the house is a total clunker if you won’t let them in for a quick peek prior to an actual buyer showing.  Thou doth protest too much, Ed Wood.

Moreover, you do you and your home a disservice by limiting Realtor previews.  Salesmanship requires a deft touch.  It is just not that easy to sell what one hasn’t seen.  When I come through with my client, you want me to focus on the features with which I became acquainted during the preview rather than blundering about blindly.  Knowing what specific hot buttons light my buyer up, all parties are best served if I have direct, first-hand knowledge of such.  You know, the stuff that doesn’t necessarily make it into the MLS.

Is the second bedroom close enough to the master to make a suitable nursery?

Is the kitchen open to the family room or a candidate for expansion?

Is the yard private, but not overwhelming?

Worst case scenario?  The home is not a fit for my clients, and I save everyone time.  Surely you don’t want any more strangers stomping around your home than absolutely necessary, especially if there is zero chance that the property will work for them.  To boot, I just might remember your house as a possible fit for the next buyer I meet.

Want to sell your house?  Heed the marquee:

Coming soon … to a home near you … Realtor Paul Slaybaugh!

Pretty please, let him in.

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  • Well you could always go all big bad wolf on them and huff and puff until they let you in…

    Whenever I do a preview I always tell the seller to not worry about cleaning for me. That seems to be why the resist them here. I can easily look past people’s messes and at the house itself.
    Melina Tomson´s last blog post ..They aren’t all the enemy

  • I find that a good way to overcome the objection to previewing as well, Melina. The caveat about cleaning, that is, not the big bad wolf thing. That usually just adds another restraining order to my tab.

  • I was looking at houses in Scottsdale on your website and thought there were some real deals. In this economy I think everyone expects and is trained to only buy if its a “deal”. Rancho Pino on N. Scottsdale Rd is my favorite restaurant there by far.

  • FSBO_in_IL

    This article helped me because I’m a fsbo. The agents who preview so far have seemed to be trying to pitch themselves for being my seller’s agent. I tell them I’ll pay 3% if you bring a buyer. But it’s hard to politely listen to their sales pitch while my 2 and 4 yr olds are screaming for attention. I’ll keep letting them come. Thanks!

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Paul Slaybaugh is here to sell houses and chew bubble gum. He's all out of bubble gum. More About Me >>>

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