Remember the last time you had a job interview in person? It’s so nerve wracking. You get a haircut, obsess over which outfit to wear, and make sure you show up on time, ready to go. You know you are being judged and you want to perform to get the gig.
Selling a home is very similar. We’ve given the place a proverbial haircut and put its best foot forward with staging and photos. We’ve showed up on time and now we get to see what the world thinks of our listing. We’ve announced, “We’re selling! You interested?”
How do we know if people are interested or not?
There are several high tech ways, but the most reliable way is counting the number of people that show up in person to tour the listing.
There’s an online booking platform that runs parallel to the NWMLS called Showing Time. It allows for members of the MLS to book a time for their clients to view a property. It’s embedded in every listing on the MLS.
The agent simply clicks the icon, puts in the time they want to see it, and the listing agent is notified. If a seller happens to be living in the home while its for sale, there is a lag time to approve the appointment. If the home is vacant, the time can be automatically approved.
Then when the buyer’s broker opens the lockbox with the key, the listing agent is again notified, and given the contact information of the buyer’s agent.
It’s easy to keep track of how many agents have shown a property.
If you put your home on the market and have zero showings, then there is something that needs to be tweaked. For the last few years in the Pacific Northwest, if you have done the work to present a home as we’ve described, there should be some interest in the first week. As I write this, condos have been slower to sell than single family homes; and of course, interest varies by neighborhood and price point. But 99% of the time, in-person showings is the biggest indicator of interest.
The next indicator is agent communication. When there are people showing the property, the listing agent starts to get phone calls, texts and emails from interested parties with questions. We like to give out the inspection we did earlier by request only. If a person has dug into the listing deeply and then asks for the inspection, those are behaviors of someone who’s interested.
We can also compile the online stats of how many people are viewing and saving the listing across the various platforms.
The important thing is to pay attention and not take it personally. If you’re getting little action, it’s nothing personal, we just need to listen to the marketplace and respond in kind. There is a price for any piece of real estate that will start to generate genuine interest.
If you are getting genuine interest and the Showing Time schedule is full of appointments, it’s time to be patient and wait for an offer.