When viewing homes is like speed-dating …

One of the things that realtors are sometimes asked to do is to arrange a whole day of showings for out-of-town clients. It can easily turn into a marathon, and involves almost as much preparation and planning.

I am booked to show twelve properties today that range from Amberwood in Stittsville to Stonebridge, south of Barrhaven. The logistics of arranging twelve viewings within a roughly six hour period are challenging to say the least.

First of all, I had to pull up the listings,  figure out where all the properties were located relative to each other, and what traffic might be like throughout the day, then call each individual brokerage selling those houses to make the appointments. We normally arrange viewings in one hour time slots, but we don’t have time to set up one hour viewings, so I’ve had to overlap each viewing like a deck of cards. And then one property sold firm which meant I had to reshuffle.

Late last night, my clients contacted me to say they were interested in yet another property that is enroute to the last property we’ll be seeing. It was a listing I had sent to them last weekend and recommended, but they had rejected at the time because they really want a main floor master and it’s two-storey with the bedrooms on the second level.

When they looked at the listing again, however, it appealed to them: it’s a lovely waterfront property that I thought they might like. But by then it was too late to contact the listing agent to set things up and his office was closed, so I got up early this morning and called the brokerage as soon as it opened.

“I’m sorry,” the receptionist said, “but that viewing requires overnight notice so I can’t even call the seller to book the appointment.”

That means I had to contact the realtor for the seller directly and plead for help. I’m hoping he can persuade his clients to let us in. And if he can, it means trying to fit yet another viewing into an already bulging schedule. Still waiting to hear if he was successful.

I expect that we will probably end up arriving a few minutes early for some appointments and late for others, so I will keep all the contact information handy in case I need to apologize to someone for knocking on their door too early or beg for forgiveness if we’re running late . I know how much sellers who have been forced to leave their homes for a viewing hate coming back on time to find that someone is still inside their house; we’ll do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen. On a day like today (where it’s pouring rain), traffic will not be my friend.

There are upsides and downsides to this kind of caravan. The upside is, it gives prospective buyers a great introduction to the variety of properties that may meet their needs and if they’re decisive, they can sometimes find exactly what they’re looking for. Houses are often sold on a day like this–it’s a great way to comparison shop.

The downside is that it can be overwhelming. By the third or fourth property, the clients usually can’t remember what they’ve seen anymore–all the homes start melding together into one. I usually suggest they take notes and photographs, and quickly eliminate whatever they don’t like so that we can whittle things down to a reasonable list. It’s a bit like speed-dating, I think. You always hope there will be at least one they fall in love with and that that’s the one they’ll remember.

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2 Responses to When viewing homes is like speed-dating …

  1. Anonymous says:

    12 is a bit many, I think. We did one of those marathons (as buyers) recently, but spent two days seeing 6-8 homes per day. And we did indeed fall in love and buy one of them!

    • Peggy Blair says:

      Just back – my clients found it really helpful and are considering one of the properties. It really helped them nail down the area they want to live in, and scope their search!

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