Yesterday I was showing property out in Black Forest (northeast of Colorado Springs), and just HAD to write this blog.
When we show real estate in Colorado Springs, the normal procedure is to call the listing office, request the showing, and then the listing office contacts the homeowner. After receiving permission, we go ahead with the showing. The buyers in this case were a little unsure of the location of the home, and just to be safe, I left a little early. There was no sign as it turned out, and I missed the driveway myself. In driving along the very long private drive, there were scary looking signs all along the way saying keep out, criminal trespassers will be prosecuted, etc.
When I reached the house, it looked like people were home, as the garage was wide open, everything you could imagine was strewn over the driveway, and a large dog was running loose.
My clients were not comfortable with dogs, so I called the listing office, and after using the automatic (press 2 to set a showing, etc) phone system, eventually was connected to the out of area showing service that handled showings for that office. The person on phone contacted the occupants.
This time, they told me the people were not home, and had specifically asked for no showings this week, wanted 24 hour notice, left the house a mess, and would not remove the dog regardless, but I was still ok to show. I called my clients, and they decided not to bother, so I called back to cancel, and after 10 more minutes on the phone, eventually cancelled the showing and moved on to a house the buyers loved and wrote a contract on.
The moral of the story?
- List your property with a company that has a real showing desk that keeps in good contact with your agent. Apparently the tenant HAD called the showing company several days earlier, but they had not heard from the agent, so left the instructions as a simple ‘courtesy call only’ showing until the listing agent would get back them.
- Make sure your dogs are contained for showings. Many buyers are not comfortable with dogs (this one was a good sized shepherd mix), and will not see your house if you leave the dog loose, no matter how friendly.
- Be show ready if you are the market. You’ll never get your price if the place is left like a dump except when you have enough notice to clean it up a little. Most buyers don’t really work that way.
- If you have tenants who don’t want to move, wait until they leave before listing. Uncooperative tenants will sabotage the showings anyway, so you may as well wait until you have full access to the property and can put it in good shape.
- Use a prominently displayed sign to make your house easy to find!