Feedback; sellers want it, agents give it, but is it really worth anything to you at all?
Getting Feedback From Buyers
I know it’s natural. Your home is for sale, buyers are walking through giving your home some level of consideration and you want some feedback from the buyers agent. The system as it is currently designed has some major flaws. Most of it revolves around the questions being asked and the value of the answers provided. You might even think we are being deliberately evasive and you could be right. But it’s not malice, it’s because we are bound by Illinois real estate law.
Pricing is a prime example. Every feedback questionnaire has almost the same question with multiple choice answers.
Q. What do you or your clients think of the price?
- A. Will sell within 1 to 2% of asking price.
- B. Will sell within 3 to 4% of asking price.
- C. Will sell within 5% of asking price.
- D. Will sell within 10% of asking price.
- E. Some final selection but you get the idea.
First let me tell you when I am showing homes to buyers I have zero intention of working out where I think a house should sell. If I have 5 or 10 to show in a day, often with more than one client, I have enough things to do. Second my buyers have no clue at this point, they are just looking for a home! Even if they did:
I won’t disclose my client’s opinion of your asking price because it may violate my obligation of confidentiality under Illinois Agency Law.
The answer your agent may get is therefore worthless. I have no idea on pricing at this point and am not going to spend my time helping you, that’s what your agent is for. The next ridiculous question usually asks something about my buyers situation concerning current housing. Do they have a home to sell, lease, need to sell before they buy and similar questions.
I won’t discuss my clients housing situation with you. Not their motivation, urgency for buying, financial situation, or willingness to negotiate. Illinois Agency Law concerning confidentiality applies.
Seller Wants To Learn About Buying Family When Considering an Offer
This keeps popping up in the higher end price points in Barrington and sellers are asking their listing agents to find out a bit about the buying family. Fair Housing folks, heard of it? Your agent should be turning to you and saying no, they cannot do that. And yet three times this year I have had to tell agents that it violated Fair Housing and they especially should not even be asking.
Everything you need to know about the buyer is on the offer. All you need to know is that they are of legal age and have the financial ability to buy. They may be making their offer subject to a home sale, if so it’s on the offer.
Don’t Ask me. Anything about the race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, disability, age, or sexual orientation of anyone I am working with. This would violate federal, state, and local fair housing laws and I will not answer.
What You Really Want To Know
Let’s face it most of the feedback you get is not worth a dime to you or your agent. What you really want to know is this. Are they going to make an offer? Asking a buyers agent that question within minutes of her showing it is also ridiculous. Most likely we don’t know and even if they were going to, I may not be able to tell you at this point.
So take it from me, feedback is almost worthless, an offer may be coming, and as your listing agent I will tell you as soon as I have it in my hands. As a buyers agent I will let your agent know as soon as my buyer gives me permission to submit the offer.
Summary – This may seem a little strong to you. Maybe you think I am even being nasty. I am not I am just a realist, I want you to fully understand that there are both sides to everything. Feedback received, if you get it, should be taken with pinches of salt. Never ever base your decision on feedback alone, please.