If it Doesn’t Feel Like Home, They Aren’t Buying

J Philip Faranda April 4, 2010

I just received a "rebuttal" to feedback I left on a home I showed earlier this week. 

The issue was that this 3 bedroom home wasn't really a 3 bedroom home unless you like walking through one bedroom to get to another. The only solution would be to cannibalize the middle room with a wall to create a hallway, rendering the room absurdly tiny. There is no good answer. The "hall" solution created a new problem. There may be people who didn't mind the tandem arrangement. One thing is for sure- nobody likes closet-sized bedrooms. 

My point, of course is not about floorplans; it is the misguided notion that a smart answer can make a house you don't want to buy suddenly feel like home. More and more lately, I have found myself avoiding debates with listing agents as if their ability to rebut an objection will change my clients' mind. It probably won't, but it will waste time. People choose a house because it feels like home. I never saw anyone buy a home because of a clever answer from the listing agent. Did you ever have a buyer tell you they bought the house because of the listing agent? Mine say it felt like home. 

There are some rare exceptions where the listing agent has to find an answer, but that is uncommon to say the least, and is usually solicited by the buyer in some way, such as figuring out how to make a back yard more private (hedge) or troubleshooting a dilemma the buyer has with logistics. However, that seldom occurs, and is not the sole creation of the listing agent. 

Outside of these chicken's tooth instances, I find myself subject to surveys, questionnaires, and phone interviews eliciting insightful answers when the fact of the matter is that the people just didn't like it enough to make an offer. If I am stupid enough to say that it was nice, or priced right, I then get chased to make an offer. People are now obligated to make an offer on a home they feel is nice but not for them? If that were so I'd have married my junior prom date. The feedback train has become derailed.

Gag me 

The tone of feedback request calls has become almost comical, as if I forgot my homework. I don't owe you a B.P.O. I don't owe you a 5 minute discussion on why my buyers don't want to deal with paneling or wish to live 90 feet from a high tension wire. Chances are you already know why people haven't bought your listing. So why harangue me? Tell your sellers I showed 20 houses this week and only 1 got an offer. The rest didn't. 

Here's your feedback in advance: 

  • It's overpriced.
  • It was a mess.
  • It didn't fit my client's needs. And no, I don't owe you an in depth discussion of what my clients' needs are so you can steer me to your other listings. 

Nothing you can say, rebut, answer or solve will change our minds. It just didn't feel like home. 

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