Poughkeepsie Case Study: You Have to Show the House

This is a cautionary tale. It was a listing that did not sell back in the Great Recession when homes often took months to sell.

The reason for the sale of the home was the dissolution of the union. To add to the stress, it was a short sale. There were some showing restrictions to accommodate for the pets in the house, but it was a young couple who, from all appearances, were motivated to move. It was on well and septic, and we even had an accepted offer at one point that withdrew after the home inspection.

In all, the house spent 10 months on market. There were two price reduction, which were fairly normal for the market at that time and for a short sale. The problem wasn’t the house, however.

More than 50% of the showing requests were declined or cancelled by the seller. There was no shortage of prospective buyers at the time, and I was getting communication from the showing agents that the listing was getting a reputation for being a futile effort.

That is, if it isn’t obvious, not good. Not good at all.

Real estate showings are not complicated, and with lock boxes and electronic means of scheduling the process is actually quite simple. The pets did not have any special needs other than to be crated, but as the weeks and months piled up the frustration from showing agents and the sellers themselves became too much.

Very reluctantly, in the absence of any cooperation with confirming more showings, when the listing contract expired I informed the clients that I would not renew. In essence, I fired them. Now, for a Realtor to walk away from a saleable listing, especially with the industry in the depression it was in and every commission being crucial, the situation must be bleak. And sadly, it was. I explained to the clients that after 300+ days on market and more than 50% of showing requests not working out, it was just not sustainable.

It was rough. They were upset, more at each other than me, but it was difficult. There is no happy post script. I saw that the property went back to the lender and was sold as a bank owned foreclosure a little over a year after we parted ways. As I told the clients, there was probably another viable buyer among the dozens of declinations and cancellations for showings, but they never got their foot in the door.

As I have said many times, all reasonable showing requests need to be confirmed. It’s a pain in the neck and invasive, but the process may have ended sooner and happier if they had let more people through the door.

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