There’s currently a fair sized pile of printed out property reports on my desk that have been marked up and highlighted from last week’s showings. Almost 30 percent of them have a big black slash across the page. The agents who were supposed to be marketing the properties were unreachable by phone and e-mail. Needless to say, my buyers didn’t get to see the inside of those homes. Was one of them your home?
While attempting to make showing appointments last weekend, I was met with dead e-mail addresses and full voicemail boxes. Sometimes multiple messages were left without even a courtesy return call to acknowledge the message while they attempted to contact the owner or tenant. I have yet to hear back from some of the agents.
If you’re considering selling or maybe even currently selling real estate it might be a good idea to call the appointment phone number for a trial run, especially on the weekend or after hours. Maybe throw a test e-mail out there to see how long it takes for your agent to actually find it.
In this day and age of technology there is absolutely no excuse for a call to go unreturned, an e-mail to be unanswered and showing appointments to not get set. Just about every human being on earth has a cell phone strapped to their hip and should be able to communicate in one way or another with consumers and fellow agents.
Sadly, the majority of the properties I was attempting to show were short sales. It might have not occurred to anyone selling a short sale that if their agent isn’t communicating with agents to get them into the home they’ll probably not be able to communicate effectively with a bank to get the short sale approved.
As I looked through the pile of properties that didn’t get shown it made me sad for the owners that are probably holding on by a thread, just hoping for a buyer. They don’t even realize that the buyers can’t get inside the home. It makes me sad for the responsible, dedicated real estate agents who get a bad rap because of the slackers who aren’t doing their job.
When you, the consumer, sign an agreement to list your home for sale, the agency you choose owes you duties to act in your best interest and actually produce an environment that is conducive to selling your home. That would include answering the phone or returning calls. It’s a violation of your agreement and ethics that they are unable to be contacted by potential buyers or real estate agents with buyers.
You, the consumer, need to protect yourself and your real estate. Don’t be afraid to test the systems to make sure you and your home are being properly represented.
Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com