Chris Griffith: Why listing office accompany stinks for buyers

CHRIS GRIFFITH

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an interesting question from the home buyer gallery today. Question: What’s the deal with listing office accompany? What is the point of the listing agent holding the listing hostage or me, the buyer, to their time schedule?

Explanation: Homeowners have the right to sell their homes any way they choose. Some insist that their agent accompany all showings. Sometimes the listing agent operates their business that way.

There are all sorts of security issues that the homeowners may have, so security issues aside, what would be the potential gain for listing office accompany? In theory, the action of accompanying a showing to thoroughly present a home to a buyer has its merits but most of the time it is more of an inconvenience to buyers simply because it’s not executed correctly.

It wouldn’t take more than a few “attended” home tours to realize the majority of the time there really is little benefit to the current owner or the buyer, for that matter. From a buyer and buyers agent standpoint, I can share that we’ve stood in the imported brick paver driveway of many a home waiting for the “keeper of the key” to grace us with their presence, open the front door and not knowledge dump on us.

What should really be a “value added service” of accompanying a showing usually isn’t more than an unwelcomed interruption in the home buyer’s process.

One would think that the agent opening the door should be contributing to the knowledge base of the buyer and educate them about the property. Perhaps hand the buyer a detailed, information packed book on the property regarding updates, not just the visible but the not so obvious features, plus the property disclosures, floor plans and the evidence that supports what a “steal of a deal” they proclaim the property to be.

The information should probably have value added details different and more finely pointed than what’s on the web because the buyers already found that, verified it and really don’t need it again.

As a matter of fact, this would probably be an excellent opportunity for the seller’s side to refute the malicious claims of an angry blogger or offer documentation regarding community lawsuits against the developer, the floundering golf course or whatever other insights need to be shared.

Instead, the listing agent or the assistant they send to unlock the door pull the Price is Right showcase ‘here’s the pantry’ maneuver.

The last buyer I took to a tower residence with listing office accompany had the agent show them the pantry, as if the buyers would have been too stupid to find the pantry because they’d accidentally start looking for it in the master bathroom. (The buyer’s actual words after we left.)

Maybe your home buying experiences have been different but not one single buyer I’ve worked with has seen a home with a pantry so magical, so exquisitely crafted that it would be the deciding factor on dropping a fat wad of cash on it.

Unfortunately, as a buyer you are just going to have to suffer through listing office accompany showings, most of which will be executed rather poorly.

You’re going to be pressured to make small talk with someone you don’t know or care to know and be forced to take extensive tours of pantries while you make one of the larger financial decisions of your life.

Consider it a right of passage, a hazing if you will, to high end home ownership in Southwest Florida.

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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.

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