When you put your house on the market, the expectation — or at least the great hope — is that the very next morning, while the house is still looking all just-staged fresh and clean, dozens of buyers will set showings. (And will actually show up, but that’s a story for another day.) One of those buyers, surely, will fall head-over-heels in love with your house and write a check for the down payment on the spot.
That’s the way it works, right?
Not likely, anyway, but the real estate market has a way of doing what it wants.
Usually, there’s a buzz of new activity for a few days, and then, if everything aligns and the property is priced and packaged appropriately, it will go under contract in short order. It works pretty well.
Except when it doesn’t.
Sometimes, the showings just don’t happen.
And that’s frustrating.
Not getting any showings can make you angry, and it can make you want to cry.
Selling a house is an emotional process, and you need to recognize that. You also need to recognize that you might not be getting physical showings that you can see and count, but very likely you are getting showings. You’re just getting showings you don’t know about.
Types of showings
The thing of it is, there are three levels of showings:
- Online showings that you know nothing about
- Drive-by showings that you might or might not notice
- Physical showings that you do know about
When you say, “we’re not getting any showings,” what you really mean is that you’re not getting any physical showings. The other types are very likely taking place, but we don’t have a way of keeping track of them.
Back when I got into this business, we didn’t have a way to do online showings. We were barely able to pull listings out of an online database. The best we could do, if buyers insisted on narrowing the field before actually stepping into any properties, was to generate a list of available properties, and send the buyers on their way to drive by the properties to see if anything struck their fancy.
The buyers were not just looking at the houses, of course, but all the stuff around them. After a weekend or so of driving by properties, and eliminating the ones they were no longer interested in based on the surroundings, physical showings would be set, and the buyers would finally step into them to take a look at the inside.
That whole process took quite a bit of time, of course. Really, it was only used when the buyers wanted to preview houses. In a majority of cases, any property that reasonably met the buyers’ criteria was put on the showings list, and everyone went to see them all. Each property got lots of showings, and hopefully within about 15 – 20 showings, a buyer would emerge and put the thing under contract. With all those showings, the sellers knew their property was being adequately exposed to the market.
The rise of online real estate marketing
Personal computers changed all that, and changed it quickly and dramatically. With online resources like mapping and crime statistics, it’s possibly to very easily whittle down a list of potential properties to just those that the buyer most wants to see.
With the real-time listings we have now, listing alerts can go to waiting buyers within minutes after they are put on the market. As soon as they get the listing, they can check out the neighborhood, do an overhead view and a street view, and even see what the inside is like with all the photos entered with the listing.
In a matter of moments, the buyers can decide — with a very high level of certainty — whether a property will be acceptable to them. With our new MLS, the buyers can even actively discard the listing, so that it doesn’t clutter up their list. When they are ready, physical showings can be set.
If you’re a seller, it can seem like you’re not getting any showings. Rest assured, though, that the physical showings you are getting, while fewer in number, are higher in quality. These are the buyers who are most interested in your home.
These are the buyers who have decided you made the cut.
Now, it’s up to you to make your home shine, so the buyer will want to make it their home.
And, really, isn’t that what you wanted all along?
Until next time,
Randall Brennan, REALTOR
Certified Negotiation Expert
Certified Investor Agent Specialist
Certified Military Housing Specialist
So what’s next? Take your pick.