25 Jul 7 things that drive homebuyers crazy…..
7 things that drive homebuyers crazy…..
So my hubby and I have been looking at the possibility of moving for ages. We juggle with the idea of leaving the very close proximity to the beach for a bigger property, with some acreage, and a newer more modern house that we can run our businesses from.
We’ve been looking at houses online for years and have visited dozens of houses and blocks of land both here in Australia and in Canada, though purchasing a property in Canada would solely be for long-term rental investment.
So I know a little bit about real estate, my parents have been real estate agents themselves for over 15 years. My husband has owned and sold numerous properties here in Australia, and well like I mentioned before I’ve been regularly keeping my eye on the South West Western Australian and West Island of Montreal Market for over 7 years. I am by NO means an expert. Not even close. This is an opinion piece, which I’m sure many homebuyers, no matter where they live in the world, can relate to.
I’ve come up with a little list of annoyances that many agents do regularly with their listings. Basically, it’s a bunch of bad habits that some realtors have, which waste their time, and the buyer’s time and the sellers time too. So this little piece is for all the real estate agents out there; I suggest if you don’t have a sense of humor, or if you can’t take some constructive criticism, you should probably stop reading… like now. If you are still reading and you meet one or two of the above criteria, then don’t get all pissed off and write me hate mail, because I warned you….
Ok, here we go…
1) The View Issue.
For the love of God, please do not write Ocean View, or lake view or water view, or any type of H20 view, when there isn’t one. An ocean view means you can clearly see the ocean from the main floor inside the home. Not outside in the far corner of the property when standing on your tip toes, not from the possible second story of a nonexistent house, not just in between the trees swaying in the wind, or in fall and winter when the leaves have fallen off the trees. A water view has to be clear from the house year round, and if it’s not clear be specific…. For example, an agent could write in the description “ocean view from the 2nd story master bedroom,” or “ocean glimpses”. Please do not put the words ‘Ocean View’ or “WATER VIEW’ in the title of the listing if it’s not a decent view.
Oh and while we are on the subject of water views, if there is a water view, take a bloody photo of it. A good one. Don’t post a photo of the ‘beautiful water view’ when it’s foggy out, so buyers can barely see where the water meets the sky, if it indeed actually does in that photo? And don’t stand on the roof of your car a dozen meters from the house and take a photo of the view and post it on the listing leading us to believe that this is the view from the house. And please don’t take photos from neighboring properties of the view and post those. That is just downright wrong. And yes I’ve seen this a few times and it drives me crazy. Stating there is a water view when there isn’t a clear view is wasting your time, our time and the sellers time. Some buyers strictly want a house with a view, and will book a viewing because your listing said it has a view. The seller then cleans their house and prepares for a viewing, meanwhile you and the other agent and the buyer all take time out of our schedules to view the house and to the buyers surprise there is no clear water view. Don’t do it – just don’t.
List the correct amount of bedrooms. This isn’t hard. My three year old knows how to count to 10 and can add and subtract on her fingers. If she can, you can too.
This week we saw a listing with a tiny little cottage on it and big massive industrial shed on a couple acres. The listing says 2 bedrooms. The house CLEARLY from the photos has 1 bedroom, a loft-style-open-concept bedroom at that, and the shed has a small office. That office is not a bedroom. It’s in a completely separate structure, which does not have a toilet or kitchen, and is the size of what most people deem worthy of a pantry or walk in closet. Don’t’ say 2 bedroom when there is only 1, or 3 bedroom when there is only 2. Instead we’d prefer you say “1 bedroom and 1 office that could be possibly be used as a small bedroom’. Capisce?
3) The “New Listing’ Lie…
This one really annoys the shit out of me. Realtors, don’t think we don’t know what you’re doing when you have a listing and there’s been little action, so you take it off the market for a couple days, or even a week or two, and then put it back on with a lowered price, and market it on your Facebook and Instagram account as a NEW LISTING. That my friend is a lie. It makes you look unethical and untrustworthy. Don’t do it. It is not a new listing. It’s a new price. By using this ‘marketing ploy’ *cough-cough-bull-shit-lie*, you are skewing your sales statistics, and all the sales stats in the region of the listing. By taking the listing off the market and relisting it a couple days later, when the sale comes through, it appears that you sold it quicker than you actually did and for closer to asking price then you actually did. It’s bullshit – stop it.
4) Photos on your business cards
Now this isn’t so much an annoyance or a complaint, as much as it is a question. Why?
Realtors are really the only people who do this? You don’t see doctors photos on their business cards? You don’t see lawyers, or hairdressers photo’s on their business cards. Is it something they tell you to do when doing the realtor course? Do they teach you in real estate school how to do the standard “Hey, I’m a real estate agent!” pose. I gotta say, a lot of these shots look like a mix between glamour shots and something you’d find in a yearbook. I swear, you all go to the same photographer. Anyways, it’s just something I haven’t quite understood. I know a person’s home is their biggest purchase and people want to feel comfortable an d familiar with the person selling them that asset. But I’d sooner want to see a picture of the person delivering my children on a business card, or performing heart surgery on me (if I needed it) than a person selling me a house, and well that just doesn’t happen?
5) Unrelated Photos…
This is something I see a lot here in Australia – it’s not as common in Eastern Canada, well not from what I’ve seen anyway. But I see it here ALL the time. The most common offence in this category is agents who put photos up of the nearby beaches in their listing. Picture this… a couple is interested in buying a house in a cute little surf town, and found a listing for a house they like, they are scrolling through the photos, and photo 1 is the living room, photo 2 is the dinning room, photo 3 is the master bedroom, photo 4 is the bathroom, photo 5 is the kitchen, photo 6 is the front of the house, and then photo 7 is a photo of the beach 3km away??!?!
Listen; if people are looking at buying a house in a coastal town they are well aware the beach is close by, and have probably been to that beach numerous times. There is no need to put photos of the beach unless the house is directly on the beach. If you want to be helpful and include a beach photo, get an aerial shot of the region and mark the house on the shot, so the buyer can see how close it is to the beach. Don’t put photos of people drinking coffee in nearby cafes, or kids playing in a park down the road. It’s not necessary; buyers want to see the rooms inside the house and the property surrounding the house.
6) The “newly renovated’ façade…
So I’ve seen this a few times and it’s annoying, because it’s also bullshit. A lot of people follow the market and are looking regularly at houses online for investment purposes, or just waiting for the RIGHT house to pop up that ticks all the boxes, and in doing so these people see a lot of repeat listings. There are a few listings that genuinely get taken off the market and get put back on a few months later and they have had some work done, such as new paint, maybe some new gardens, or they are listed with a different agent, whatever. And then there are listings that sell and then a year or two or three or whatever later, they are relisted. If the previous owner redid the bathroom, or laid new floors, you really shouldn’t write in your listing RENOVATED BATHROOM and new floors throughout. That is a lie. Your client did not renovate the bathroom, nor did they put the floors down. It is not newly renovated. You could say renovated in whatever year it was renovated in… and if you aren’t comfortable with writing the year then it’s probably because it’s too long ago and therefore NOT NEWLY RENOVATED or not worth mentioning.
7) “PRICED TO SELL”
Ummmm… All listings are effectively priced to sell. They are for sale and they have a price. A house is only worth what a person is willing to pay for it, regardless of whatever price you put on it. Priced to sell is another tedious 3-word slogan that annoys many serious buyers. You may attract a few tire kickers with that slogan, but again you’re wasting your time and your seller’s time with that.
8) Duty of disclosure
Now this is a biggie… and it’s tricky. Because a lot of older homes in Canada, and I’m not talking from the 70’s, I’m talking early 1900’s old; have foundational issues, some have water leakage in spring, and therefore mold and other issues etc… no agent is going to put these defects on their online listing, or on their social media, but if someone books a viewing or comes to an open house, these types of defects need to discussed. And if these issues exist in your listing, don’t kid yourself or anyone else for that matter, and say that the house is a real gem or it’s a charming cottage. It has cracks in the foundation and mold in the walls; it’s not a charming gem. It’s a nightmare.
Another issue that should be addressed and disclosed early on is building consent; i.e.: if any additions were made to the property that were not done with a permit or authorization from the local government or not done to code; all these situations need to be shared with potential buyers early on. Or if the property sits too close to boundaries or lot lines, this too should be disclosed as early as possible, as many insurance companies may have issues insuring the buyers house if it can not be built to the same dimensions as it already is, and without insurance buyers can’t get a mortgage.
Also, there’s the whole sensitive issues disclosure, which also needs to be addressed. If your listing has had drug manufacturing, or a death, accident or crime related connected to the address, this should be disclosed early on and in many cases, legally needs to be disclosed to the buyer. A lot of buyers wont be bothered as much if you tell them upfront if someone kicked the bucket in the living room, however they will probably get a little apprehensive if you tried to hide it and not be upfront about it.
So in saying all this – since you should disclose these issues, and in most cases, legally MUST disclose these issues, just get it out of the way. Don’t waste people’s time in hopes that they will overlook those issues at the last minute because they’ve already invested so much time and energy into the property. It’s not fair to drag people through to the point of purchase and then list those issues in the 11th hour. It’s unethical and again a waste of everyone’s time. Disclose that shit early on. You’ll weed out the people who those issues don’t matter to, and save yourself a lot of energy.
Ok that’s it – those are the things that us homebuyers get annoyed by and/or don’t quite understand. I hope this piece brings you some clarity or perhaps a laugh or two. I gotta say, I feel a lot better now that I got it off my chest!
(Post by Blogging Babe, Heather )