Real estate agents do a lot for their clients but most of it is behind the scenes. Most people wonder why in the world agents make so much, but when you think about all the time, energy and expenses that go into being an agent, the amount of homes that they really need to sell to just break even is quite a lot. This is not a cheap business to get into. We drive our own cars, use our own marketing dollars for flyers, cards and advertising and sometimes after doing all that, the client goes elsewhere.
BUT, THERE IS ONE THING THAT ALMOST ALL BUYERS CAN DO THAT REALLY HELPS OUT OUR JOB – PREVIEW THE HOME FIRST.
That’s it! Just drive by and see if it’s something you even like! I can’t tell you how many people want to see 10 houses or more and have never even driven by. I hear it all the time, “oh, I didn’t know it was this far.” “Oh the railroad track is right there!” “I don’t want to be this far from work”. Well, if you drove by the house first, you would know all these things and save everyone a lot of time.
Even a simple Google map check can tell a buyer a lot about a place. You can map out directions to work, school, or the nearest market. You can see if train tracks or a busy freeway is close by. But nothing beats actually driving by the home. So many real estate photos show only the great features of the house, not the junky cars in the driveway, or the broken down house next door. Photos also won’t tell you if the neighbor’s dogs bark incessantly throughout the day or night or if the home is in a flight pattern with noisy planes flying overhead every hour.
A simple drive by can work wonders! It can save hours of time for the buyer, the seller AND the agent. The seller doesn’t have to set time aside to clean or stage the home if you have no plans of actually seeing the inside. Also, by driving by it once, checking out the neighborhood and then going again with your agent means you will probably see the home a couple different times of the day, which can make a huge difference.
We recently had a client do this and although when they visited the home during the day it seemed quiet and quaint, when we visited it together it was later in the afternoon and there were teenagers skating through the neighborhood and being very loud and smoking (because they were now out of school). For this elderly couple, they really didn’t want to be in this type of neighborhood and seeing the home at different times gave them a different perspective of the area.
So remember, just take a look at the home in person if you can before scheduling a showing. I understand that in some cases, buyers are overseas and purchase property solely on the research of the agent and that’s perfectly acceptable. But if you live close, it saves everyone time to do a quick drive-by beforehand.