Should merely curious buyers seek appointments?

Flickr photo by Michael Simmons

When buyers call brokers to say they are thinking about a home purchase, those brokers respond almost literally like Pavlov’s celebrated dogs.  They may even actually drool.

I don’t plead guilty to drooling, at least not in such instances, but I admit to having made appointments for buyers who are unfamiliar with the housing market to see various properties.

Is such a practice fair to the sellers, who may spend a couple of hours stashing toys and scrubbing tubs, or to their brokers, for whom time is supposed to equal money?

My usual practice is to advise buyers just starting out that they visit open houses — which, of course, commonly occur in decent numbers only on Sundays — instead of imposing their schedules on others.

“Can’t do that,” a buyer might respond, “going to be away weekends all summer.”

Oh, so finding a new home is hardly a priority.  How serious can homebuyers be who would rather inconvenience three other categories of individual — seller, listing broker and buyer’s broker — than themselves?

In my view, it is a tough call whether to accommodate such buyers.  After all, lightning can — and does — strike: On rare occasions a buyer falls in love on a first outing and makes an offer.

Still, I think all of us brokers have an obligation to remind buyers of the inconvenience they cause when they are far from ready to make a purchase while insisting on seeing properties to suit themselves, not when open houses are planned.

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option here to search all available properties privately.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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