A Look at Real Estate Feedback for Sellers and Realtors
Every agent seems to have a differing opinion on what constitutes real estate feedback , and whether or not it’s useful. In this blog, I’d like to define true and correct feedback, and outline how it is useful to the seller and particularly to the Realtor listing the seller's property.
Feedback, in common terms, is when an agent who shows a listed property reports back to the agent who has listed the property, what they and/or their clients thought of the home.
Feedback is not an agent reporting back on whether or not their client is interested in a property or intends to buy the property. The answer to that question is obvious when the buying agent submits, or does not submit, a written offer. I am always left scratching my head when listing Realtors call me for “feedback,” but all they want to know is if we’re going to write an offer: Well if we were going to write an offer…I’d write you an offer…Calling me to ask if there is an offer coming is the real estate equivalent of: “ARE WE THERE YET? ARE WE THERE YET? ARE WE THERE YET?”
Good & Bad Feedback
True and useful feedback is when a showing agent (Buyer’s representative), gives a thoughtful review of what they or their clients thought of the property. The most helpful feedback is negative feedback because it helps us make changes and make the home more saleable to the public. Feedback from the Vanderveen Team will get emailed to clients directly, and we encourage our clients grow a thick skin while we sell, and to view their home as a product on the free market, so that we can reposition it to suit demand as we see trends developing on feedback. That said, it’s always nice to be nice. “Your gross home smells like cat piss,” can easily be changed to, “We detected a slight odour of animal urine in the basement.”
For Realtors asking for feedback, you need to clearly describe the listing to showing agents, and try to add a feedback hook: something that every person would notice to help the agent remember which property it was. I always try to add 4 or 5 hooks that could jog their memory: black granite countertops, red shoes in closet, bright pink carpet in master bedroom, faces a tot lot, etc. Those types of things.
Don't Lower the Price till You've Heard the Comments
I have had plenty of listings that have benefited from comments. It alerts you to things that could be improved as an alternative to just lowering the price. For example, I’ll never forget the house that sat listed for days with tons of showings, but no offers. We kept getting feedback which said the front entry was too cramped. We installed a mirror on the front entry and within days, it sold! I have tons of other stories like this from over the years.
In terms of what you can expect for feedback as a seller: you can expect that 50% of your showings will have reported feedback. Not every agent participates, and there's no way to force them. Feedback also takes a couple days to post, so you may not see comments from your showing until a few days after it happened. Feedback is one of my real estate stethoscopes. It’s one key way that I take the heartbeat of the listing to determine what is going on. One comment is something I notice. 2 comments, and I’m paying attention. 3 comments on the same thing, and it’s the truth, and we have to act. Also, when feedback tells us we’re overpriced over and over again - we’re overpriced. Trends in feedback don’t lie.
There are only 2 reasons real estate doesn’t sell: market and price. If you’re not working with the market, you can only work with the price, and that means you just hack and hack and hack until you have a sale. At the Vanderveen Team, we treat our listings like they’re in a boutique, working closely with market trends and considering all angles before we have to hack at the price.
We’re kind of awesome that way, and also very humble.
The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736