Some home owners still think that their listing agent should accompany a buyer agent and a buyer during the showing.
The days of listing agents accompanying buyers on showings was the prevalent way of viewing property up until about 1995. Subsequently, three dramatic shifts in the real estate world took place that changed everything:
- 1st – The Internet transformed buyers’ access to homes for sale.
- 2nd – Buyer Agency (an agent exclusively representing a buyer) took hold of the market.
- 3rd – Professional scheduling companies like Showing Time.
Nowadays, in most cases, a buyer has a buyer’s agent and the seller has a listing agent so that both parties are represented during the negotiation process. Due to this representation, buyers typically do not feel comfortable having the listing agent at the home that they are interested in potentially buying. They want to be able to tour the home comfortably with their own representation so that they can speak freely about the home and take their time to experience it. Homes create an emotional connection with their owners, and the goal is to get a buyer to feel a connection to the home too. But a listing agent’s presence tends to disrupt this. Buyers surely don’t want someone hovering around or pointing out the obvious such as “this is the kitchen”.
In addition, buyers are usually scheduling three to four showings at a time so trying to coordinate a showing with the listing agent makes it even more inconvenient for everyone because you have to get four people to agree on a time that works instead of three. Four people being, the seller, the buyer, the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. Studies have shown homes that require accompanied showings take almost 10% longer to sell! Remember, the longer a home takes to sell the less you will get!
Scheduling companies and the use of lock boxes are what allow the business to accommodate buyers and buyer agents to more efficiently view properties. Lock boxes have existed prior to the Internet and Buyer Agency. They have combination locks or infrared keys that are put on the front door or in a more inconspicuous place. The combinations for these lock boxes are only given to licensed real estate agents who are MLS members that are representing an interested party. When these lock boxes are utilized with a professional scheduling company like Showing Time buyer agents have around the clock access to schedule showings for their buyers. This allows homes to be shown more often and more conveniently for all parties involved, which is important to buyers.
Today’s buyers are really just consumers who want everything at their fingertips and everyone at their beck and call. Knowing this, it is not hard to understand what they really want when buying a home: to be able to see the home when they want, tour the home in a comfortable setting, and have their own agent represent them throughout the process.
At Lamacchia Realty, we have been successfully showing homes this way since 2004. We never attend showings under any circumstances because we know it is not in the best interest of the sale.