2013 Aug 19th

He’s Just Not That Into Your Hoboken Condo

I remember when I first met my wonderful husband Howie.  We went on a date and the chemistry was magic.  We couldn’t wait to see each other again and at the end of the first date he asked if he could see me again.  I didn’t need for him to fill out a feedback report to know he was interested.  We’ve been together for 24 years.

Why am I telling you this?  Because some of my sellers are obsessed with “feedback.”  They ask me to call every agent who has shown their unit for feedback.  They compare the feedback that they received weeks ago with the current feedback and they ask for more feedback.thumbs up

Sellers – take a deep breath.  Your feedback is the appointments that are not being made or the offers you are not getting.  If you are not getting appointments in this market, something is wrong.  Your property is probably overpriced.  If you have tons of appointments and have received no offers, your property is probably priced correctly to attract buyers but once they see the property something about it is turning people off. A feedback form is not going to tell you that – common sense is.  No feedback IS feedback.

Agents who are working with buyers typically take them to see multiple properties.  If the buyer has no interest, they may not bother to complete a request from the listing agent for feedback.  Some agents don’t want to offend the listing agent or owner and tell them honestly how much the potential buyer disliked the unit.  Some agents think it is against their buyer’s interest to give feedback.  If I tell you my buyer loved your home more than any other property on the market, perhaps you won’t be as negotiable on the price when we do make an offer.

If a prospective buyer sees your apartment and falls in love with it, they will pursue it with their agent.  They will want to come right back with their spouse or dad or best friend.  Their agent will call me and ask if we have any other offers.  This is the only really valuable feedback.  If these things aren’t happening, they are just not that in to your property.
  1. JC

    Do sellers agents really ask buyers agents/buyers to fill out a form nowadays? This is happening? It cant be the norm, or is it?

  2. Lori Turoff

    JC – not only is asking for feedback from the agent working with the buyer (rarely a true “buyer’s agent”) the norm, but the computer system most agencies in Hoboken use to make appointments automatically sends a request for feedback to every agent who showed the property. It’s a pre-set survey type thing that asks very general and, in my opinion, meaningless questions. Some agents fill them out, some don’t. There are some real issues with feedback – let’s say you truly are a buyer’s agent (i.e., you have a signed agency agreement and therefore a fiduciary duty to the buyer). Is it in my buyer’s best interest to tell a seller’s agent that the property is gorgeous, my buyer loved it and it’s going to sell in a day? If my buyer wants to buy it, I have to negotiate for a lower price. Isn’t saying nice things about the property counter to this goal?

  3. Craig

    I had no idea feedback is often sought by sellers. No one asked me for feedback when I was in the market in 2010 and I viewed at least 10 properties with my agent. I can say with certainty that if I was in love with a property and was asked for feedback, I would have mostly pointed out all the flaws for the reasons Lori states.

    Lori, I know you’re a big Mike Aubrey fan. Have you seen his new show on HGTV, Power Broker? It’s fast becoming one of my favorites. I love how as the buyer’s agent, he points out all the flaws in a property to get the price down and is always willing to walk out of the negotiation if his bottom line isn’t met. Now that’t the kind of agent I want if I’m the buyer. But I doubt his tactics would work in this market.

  4. Lori

    Craig – we don’t ask the buyer directly for feedback. The seller’s agent asks the agent working with a buyer. No, I haven’t had much time for HGTV lately. You are correct that in most cases in Hoboken, pointing out flaws and walking out of negotiations (which take place over the phone or even by text (gasp!) will do nothing but secure the property for a different buyer.

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