They say you never know what it’s like until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Saturday morning, I did a little online research on where the open houses would be for the day. As I drove down the parkway, I saw the first open house sign. Bright green with an arrow pointing to the right. Here we go, off the beaten path and into a new neighborhood hidden behind the local golf course. How exciting! I had never actually ventured back into this area and was excited to see what the layout for this home would be.
One sign led to another, and then I would start to panic thinking I had missed the turn, only to find yet another bright green arrow sign just ahead. After following around 12 signs (which led me around to the edge of a canyon and back again), I was starting to lose hope that I would ever reach the property in question. And then, there it was! A big red “for sale” sign in the front yard. BINGO!
I parked in the driveway, walked up to the door, and tried to open it. Hmm. It was locked. Well, isn’t that strange. Here it was 11:45am and there were open house directional signs leading to this house, but nope, no open house was occurring. Disappointed, I got back in my car and drove back towards the parkway. Except, the last street before the parkway had ANOTHER agent’s open house signs posted. Phew! It wasn’t a waste of time after all….
I quickly turned down the street and followed the signs to another open house. It was now noon and I was ready to view my first open house of the day after 30 minutes of driving around. I walked up to the front door and tried to open it — STRIKE TWO! It was locked. *sigh* I was truly feeling disappointed in the real estate industry at this point.
I’ll make a long story short. I attempted 4 hours of open houses (as listed on the MLS and signed with directional arrows) before I actually found one that was OPEN and staffed with an agent. As a consumer, I was thinking of all sorts of things in my head. My experience reinforced the negative complaints I’ve often heard from other people about their negative experiences with real estate agents. SLACKERS. FLAKES. ARROGANT. THEY THINK THEIR TIME IS WORTH MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Yikes. I can totally understand how people could form those ideas now that I have experienced this.
On the bright side, there are A LOT of good agents out there. They probably aren’t the ones with loads of clients and marketing dollars. You may not be able to find them on Yelp or on the brokerage’s top 10 list. But they do exist. And they do care. And they are more than willing to take the time to give you 110%. They can save you time and effort. You won’t have to venture around searching for locked “open houses” because your agent can schedule a viewing of the property at a time that works for YOU. They are your advocate. And in most cases, you aren’t even going to be paying them a penny ~ as typically in southern CA, the sellers of the property pay all commissions.
And if you are selling your property, all I can say is that I was NOT the only customer showing up to the locked open houses. Maybe one of those people was the buyer for your house. It takes a lot of work to prepare your home for an open house. Cleaning. Stashing. Decluttering. And finding a place for you to go hang out for the 4 hours it takes to host. You, my friends, deserve better than mediocre representation. You deserve GREAT representation in the sale of your home. You deserve someone who is going to treat your home like their own! With PRIDE. With bragging rights to how amazing it is. With promoting it within their networks and beyond.
Find an agent with your best interests in mind. Find an agent who doesn’t just say they will walk in your shoes. Find an agent that will wear your shoes and wear them proudly to get the job done!