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Saturday, April 17, 2010

"What the Hell!" Showings

The (Mythical?) Serendipitous Buyer

There are Realtors who don't believe in putting "For Sale" signs in front yards because they think that the would-be Buyers such signs attract invariably . . . aren't Buyers at all.

Serious buyers, their thinking goes, proactively look online for homes that meet their criteria -- usually in concert with their agent.

While I don't happen to agree, there is something to that.

First, a definition: a "serendipitous Buyer" is a Buyer who isn't necessarily looking for a home in a particular neighborhood -- or may not even be looking for a home at all. But then they literally happen upon the perfect home, fall in love . . . and decide to buy it, then and there!

Or at least, that's how the story goes.

Such occurrences may not be as rare as Loch Ness monster sightings -- but I don't think they're exactly common, either.

Buyer "Due Diligence"

In my experience, serious Buyers are more methodical.


They've been vetted by a lender, and know what their budget is.

They've gotten a couple Realtor referrals, done some interviewing, and signed a "Rep Agreement" with one.

They've been studying the market for awhile, and know what's available.

By contrast, the kind of Buyer whose interest is piqued by a "For Sale" sign probably has skipped one (or more) of the foregoing steps.

Ditto for the Buyer who is working with an agent, but requests a "short notice" showing (usually defined as giving less than one hour notice to the owner -- often, a lot less).

My guess is that 80%-plus of the time, what's behind such a request is "serendipity" (they just drove by) and/or curiosity, not serious interest.

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