How many?

How many houses do you need to show a buyer? The answer is not obvious to the new agent and truthfully, it’s not obvious to the seasoned one sometimes.

Some will say “as many as it takes” because they are potentially buying their ‘forever’ home. Some TV shows would lead you to believe it’s 3. Just 3 and they have to make up their mind.

I’d suggest another approach from these two extremes.

My wife and I were planning to buy our second house after moving back to Indiana. We bought our first home in Indy when we got married in 1980 but we’d relocated to Yorba Linda, CA for a few months and rented while there.

We moved back to Indy in 1983, rented a cool apartment on a lake for about half of what we had been paying in California but we started getting the bug to buy after a year. We rented a 1930’s duplex in an old neighborhood for about a year but wanted to be a bit more modern and maybe find a neighborhood more conducive to raising our 2 boys.

We contacted our agent (a friend from church) and started the process of looking ‘through the book’ in her office. This was about 1985. There was no internet, no online anything to speak of (I was a member of The Red Desk BBS, but that’s another story) and we trusted our agent to help us find the right house.

I don’t recall looking at a lot of homes but I remember driving into the neighborhood where we bought. My wife had not even seen the house yet but said ‘this is where I want to raise our boys’ and we did. We lived in that house until 1994 when we bought a bigger one to accommodate our growing family when our 3rd boy came along.

Here’s the point. Most of the time buyers don’t know what they like until they see it. They struggle to put into words what they want and it frustrates everyone in the process.

Deciding what house to buy is done emotionally and justified rationally.

The part of the brain that ‘feels’ does not really have language capability. That is in the rational part of the brain that uses words. I think that is proven when buyers do finally decide. It’s done in the first minute of so of seeing a house. Curb appeal is critical as is the first viewing of the house.

Here’s a tip, when showing a house, do not let your buyers follow you in.

Open the door (maybe get there early to prep the house) and let them see it first. You are there to help but as my dad used to say ‘you make a better door than you do a window’.

You are blocking part of their initial view and impression.

Another tip, you don’t have to show them every house they find on the internet. When I was searching for that second house we had to use a book and trust our agent. That is no longer the truth. The internet has changed all that. Most of the time the buyer finds the house they buy without the agent’s input. You have another job today.

You have to help them eliminate the ones they don’t want. It’s not a process of selection.

Some you can eliminate by scratching off the ones under power lines, beside railroad tracks or other features you know they won’t like. Then you give them a list and say ‘go drive by and see if you like the neighborhood’.

I’ve found by letting them preview in a drive-by, they will self eliminate about 80% of them and you don’t have to waste time showing a house they weren’t going to buy anyway.

When you schedule 10 showings in one day it sets up an expectation. The seller expects you to show it, the buyer expects to see it and you expect to open the door. Change the expectation and you’ll save everyone a lot of time and energy.

That’s enough for now. Did you learn something from this? Do you have a comment or maybe disagree with me? If so, I’d love to chat about it.

I mean it. Maybe it’s not about this article but something else. Are you still isolated by this virus? Would you like to talk about new agent stuff? I’m happy to talk with you if it will help.

If you want to schedule a call you can click on this link. It will take you to a calendar where you can request a time block. I’ll accept and we’ll get on Google Meet or Zoom to talk face to face.

This is free and it might just help if you’re stuck. No strings, no pitch, just someone to listen and maybe get you unstuck. Besides, I’d love to talk about this with someone who is sincerely curious and wants to pursue this business the way I did.

I’m here if you want to reach out.

I hope you will.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct Line