By Kevin M. Faherty
RISMEDIA, Oct. 2, 2007-Over the past year, sellers’ demand for feedback on the showings of their homes has increased dramatically. The change in the market has played a significant role in this phenomenon. Two or three years ago when, in most areas, homes were getting showing after showing and inventories were low, sellers were not focusing as much on what prospective buyers and other agents thought because another buyer would be right around the corner.
Now, as the market has cooled, sellers are more interested in feedback. They want to make their home more appealing and get a faster sale. They view feedback as the way to achieve that goal.
In August, 73% of all respondents commented on the need for improved and additional feedback from agents. It is definitely a focus of sellers today and an excellent opportunity for listing agents.
Another reason for this change in the mindset of sellers is the increase in the number of TV shows regarding selling homes. These shows have allowed sellers to see the importance of making repairs, removing clutter and keeping the house clean. Therefore, their desire for feedback specific to their home has grown.
Savvy sellers recognize that advances in technology have made the collection of feedback easier and want their agents to take advantage of it. Services such as Feedback-Central, Centralized Showing Service (CSS) and services offered by lockbox companies make the collection of feedback much easier.
Most of these companies provide online reports where sellers can view feedback 24/7 or are notified when a showing agent has submitted feedback about their home.
For agents, feedback collection can help tremendously. Sellers are emotionally attached to their homes-they hire an agent to list their home; yet, they don’t listen to what the listing agent is telling them. When providing this information in feedback, the seller is more likely to make changes (including lowering the price), which may ultimately lead to a faster sale and a much happier client.
Agents that focus on collecting feedback during the listing presentation stand a much better chance of getting the listing. They can more easily convince the seller to make updates to the house; which then, generally, results in a faster sale.
A newer trend that is starting to spread is a different type of feedback-showing statistics. Sellers want information not only specific to their home, but they want to see how their home is faring in the number of showings against other similar homes. Right now, MLS’ and associations that subscribe to CSS as a core service have access to this extremely useful information.
Providing feedback is increasingly considered by sellers to be a professional courtesy. If showing agents continue to refuse to provide it and listing agents don’t take the time to collect it, the Realtor image will decline. If the Realtor image declines, commission rates may follow. RE
Kevin Faherty is the vice president of Centralized Showing Service. For more information, please visit www.showings.com.