Kate Young is a realtor on the rise. And as a broker and partner at Keller Williams Portfolio Realty, she hears all kinds of things from her clients. But to her, there's no such things as strange questions.
So we put that to the test with this week's, Ask An Agent.
What are the strange questions a buyer or seller has asked you and what's the story behind that?
Buying or selling real estate is a very big transaction that you may only do a few times in your life. So you may have questions which you think are dumb, but I've probably heard them before.
However, I did have this buyer who was very specific in what they were looking for and any time we came across a property that would work for them, they wanted to know what their pet thought about it.
We'd go into the property and they'd say, “I wonder what ____ would think of this place?” or “Would they be okay with their bed in this location?” Everything revolved around what their animal thought.
I tried to convey that they would most likely live in that home longer than the animal would be alive, but they wanted to feel like the home would be comfortable for their pet.
I tried to be supportive by highlighting the positives of each property by saying things like, “This location is great for you,” or “The price is right” until we found something they thought their animal would be cool with. We looked at a lot of properties.
This same person also wanted to set closing dates based on what an app told them would be days of good fortune and those days were always Sundays. They wanted to close six months from now on a Sunday because this app was telling them to. I had to explain that you can only close when the land registry office is open, which is Monday to Friday and not on any holidays or weekends.
Also, I had to explain that the date they picked was a really long closing and we had to negotiate a closing that worked for both parties. We were eventually able to find something and close on a weekday, but that was the strangest thing I'd ever encountered... I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of soothsayer involved who was telling them that the place they eventually jumped on was the one for them.
I realize now that all of that – satisfying the pet and the fortune telling app – are just objections. At some point, they probably weren't ready and they were putting up these road blocks. But, in due time, we were able to find something they were happy with that worked for the animal. It's just about having patience and guiding them along the way to a place (where) they're happy.
Another time, I had a listing that sold with a pre-emptive offer. It was a renovated house with an unfinished basement (that) we lightly staged. The stager had put down a carpet and some chairs to make it look clean, but it was definitely unfinished. They came back from their first buyer visit and the buyer agent called me and said, “The house is great, but they're really disappointed that the basement is not finished.” I responded, “What do you mean? Of course the basement is not finished.”
The buyers didn't realize when they bought the home with a quick, pre-emptive offer that it didn't have a finished basement even though it said the basement wasn't finished in the listing.
I use that story to show the power of staging to encourage people to stage because it works. The buyers in this case were just so blinded by how great the staging was they just went for it. It's the buyer agent's responsibility to always make sure their buyers know what they're buying.