It seems we must have a lot of unrealized power in our city because the moment our For Sale sign went in the ground, we single-handedly shut down real estate sales in our neighborhood. Sales just dried up, nary a house was sold. I certainly hope whichever city is now experiencing a rise in home sales as a result will be grateful to us. You are welcome. Seriously, I find the entire selling process infuriating and frustrating. Not only do we have to open our homes to people we don't know (which is a bitter enough pill for me to swallow) but adding insult to injury, we need to deal with criticism, buyers not showing up after appointments were confirmed and price reductions. I wish we could go back to the time when the owner and the potential buyer sat down together to negotiate a sale thus relegating the realtor, if one was even being used, to a secondary position in the process. My mom sold my childhood home for a good price and a mozzarella (the buyers owned an Italian deli), no realtor present to hamper or chime in on that interesting negotiation.
Today, even the process of scheduling a showing has become a nuisance because appointments are made via computer. Should be easier, right? Not so much because if you cannot make an appointment, you need to check the box for 'denied.' It even sounds negative and foreboding. Hey, wait a minute. I am not denying any potential buyer entrance to my home but I might need to schedule the showing for a different time, no? Then you need to call your realtor, who in turn needs to contact the potential buyer's realtor, who then submits yet another computerized request and the process starts all over again. Can't we just discuss a mutually acceptable time on the phone and eliminate all this back and forth? It drives me crazy.
Now that I have already alienated myself from realtors in general, allow me to further dig my grave by adding that some realtors have permitted the buyers to totally dominate the entire process of selling a home. I am certainly not saying that a buyers's preferences in a new home be discounted, however, it would be nice to have your house sold to a buyer and not merely shown. Not every potential buyer has a rigid list of likes and dislikes, some can be persuaded to see homes that do not have everything they want in it or perhaps, with the right salesperson, a buyer might see potential in a home that he might have otherwise discounted. Before the advent of the MLS system, realtors were the keeper of the keys, so to speak. They had the photos, the prices and specs on the homes you needed to see. Now, since we are all so computer-oriented and live in a 'more is more' society, we look over the photos online (sometimes as many as 32 photos) and then tell the realtor which homes we want to see. In my opinion, this is the reason why some realtors have moved from a need to sell to a desire to show mode. Oftentimes, a buyer has a preconceived idea about a house from all the photos and information he has seen online about it, but it takes a good salesperson to encourage him to see it and perhaps make the sale despite the initial reservations.
So it seems that I am again mired in something, not by unemployment any longer, but by the state of the real estate market. My friend, who is as opinionated as I am, often jokes that if we ruled the world, things would definitely run more smoothly. I would agree that her sentiment is quite ego maniacal and outrageous, but some days I certainly would like to give it a try.