Well, this week’s adventure was kind of a bust. We left early Friday, only to find out our agent wasn’t available until 1:00, and then didn’t quite find the first property because we didn’t hear the exact location until after we’d left the area. We were close, and what we saw was nice, but . . .
The second one was way up on a mountain, or at least, was passes for one around here. My ears popped, so I guess that counts? Anyway, the brush was so heavy that we couldn’t even see if the land dropped off a cliff or was flat-ish.
We never found the third one, and there was literally NO INTERNET OR PHONE ACCESS off that state highway. The directions we had said “about a mile down the road,” but later, after we got back to the actual highway, we were told it was “3-5 minutes” down that road. Sheesh.
So here’s my open letter to realtors:
I have a few gripes with you, the collective you—some of you, certainly, do a great job, but others, not so much. So if the latter applies, please, do continue reading.
When you post pictures of property on realtor.com, keep in mind what your customers may like to actually see. Ten pictures of trees or the view are not good; 2-3 will suffice. Ditto for the road frontage. For heaven’s sake, if you’re selling property out in the middle of nowhere, get out of your car for a few minutes and walk around. Show pictures of any buildings, interior and exterior; show pictures of any live water present; show pictures of the plat, the survey, and most of all, THE FLIPPIN’ LOCATION.
Be truthful, at least as much as sales allow. Some property, you just can’t spin it to sell. But if folks are driving a couple hours to see something, surprises aren’t good. At all.
Let’s talk about terminology. Flat is flat, of course, but “gently rolling” doesn’t mean rock ridges and cliffs. It doesn’t mean a steep decline and acreage full of ravines. It just doesn’t.
Signage is important. YOU may be able to drive directly to a piece of property, but unless you’re going to get off your butt and meet us out there, you need to be able to give EXACT directions. And by the way, put it in your listing—we’d all like to have some idea of where we’re going before we leave. We’d like to, say, know what else is in the area before we make the drive. Like a junkyard. Or a prison. Whatever.
A piece of orange tape tied around a tree six months ago is NOT a good indicator.
And finally, this is 2014, and we all use technology. A lot. This means that you, too, much embrace it. Have a navigable website. Be able to email jpg photos or pdfs or whatever so we can HAVE INFORMATION. Don’t take a picture with a cell phone and send me the same damn tiny, useless picture of a plat that’s on the listing. Oh, and answer your phone—I’ll bet it’s really hard to sell anything if you can’t be reached.
Oh, wait—one more. If you list a property in, say, March, and haven’t updated anything at all in the last six months, you might just want to actually drive out to the property and 1) update photos and info and 2) check your sign. Make sure the property is STILL marked because, you know, we have things like wind and rain and stuff. Just sayin’.
As far as this week’s search was concerned, it seems that no listing agents could return our agent’s calls on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, even though they knew we were going to be in the area on Friday. So, yeah, wasted time, wasted gas. Kinda ticks me off.
But the worst, by far, was a trip out to Bourbon, Missouri a couple months ago.
The 21 photos included one of the well pipe sticking up, one of the electric meter, one of the dusk-to-dawn light, one of the street sign; also included was a sign to a resort five miles away, a stream that was actually located three miles away, a picture of a “river access” sign.
The description said an old mobile home had been removed. Most of it was gone, but not all. The description also said things like “gently rolling,” which I assume means “deep ravines;” “level,” and it was, on the road and about 20 feet through the gate; “stocked pond” and “10 acres pasture” which was actually on the neighbor’s property.
I’m in sales. I understand spin. But this was flat-out dishonest, and written by someone with whom I will NEVER do business. Ever. So, realtors, keep in mind what you’re doing to your livelihood. Remember your customers—who pays your commission?