Feeling frustrated with buyers


Dear David,

Our house has been on the market for a month. We are frustrated with the showing process and feel that several buyers have been quite inconsiderate. Some have left the lights on after showings. Others booked one-hour showings and spent five minutes in the house. The worst ones didn’t show up for their appointments at all. What is going on? – IRRITATED

DEAR IRRITATED: No seller wants to clean their house and spend 45 minutes waiting down the street for a showing that is over in a flash. I understand this process can be frustrating for homeowners, and regularly tell my sellers that a week on the market will feel like a month of your life.

While it’s up to the showing agent to leave the home as instructed, there are several factors that might explain the timing issues. When setting up a home tour, part of the agent’s role is to figure out a logical route and factor in the travel time. Done right, this gives the buyer enough time in each home to form a proper opinion. Showing appointments typically last an hour, but were shortened to 30 minutes during the pandemic so buyers could avoid crossing paths with other groups. Some agents never went back to one-hour showings after COVID, and if they happen to be running late, showings are sometimes rushed or missed.

When it comes to showing houses, an agent must also consider how closely a property aligns with their buyers’ wish list. A quick look on Realtor.ca will show how different the level of detail can be from one listing to the next. Some listings offer little more than a few photos and lines of text, which makes it hard to know if it meets a buyer’s criteria, and may even discourage them from visiting. Today’s tools make it easy for Realtors to put information at a buyer’s fingertips, such as photos, floorplans and a complete description. If a buyer arrives at the home with as much information as possible, there’s a much better chance they’ll be interested. 

Think of a property listing like a dating profile. The agent’s role is to introduce the home with details, dimensions and realistic photos (no fisheye lenses). Like a dating profile, the listing may not paint a complete picture of the house. There may be a few things the buyer won’t grasp until they see it in person, like the smell in the basement or the amount of traffic noise. They’ll move quickly if they don’t feel a connection, so don’t take that five-minute showing personally. 

PRO TIP: Be upfront. Give buyers a clear picture of what your home offers right out of the gate, so they’re two-thirds of the way towards falling in love before they even get there. Follow your Realtor’s advice and make the most of the listing tools available. Buyers will arrive knowing the price, the pertinent details and a little about the neighbourhood. If your house measures up to their expectations, you’re never wasting your time. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.