After nearly 15 years working as a full time real estate I have seen many services, some good and some
bad. Personally I have to say that services like “ShowingTime” are not good for the seller of a property, at least if the seller wants to attract a motivated buyer. Let me explain why.
Selling real estate is all about negotiation including price, possession time frame, repairs etc. This process is started the moment a listing goes active in the MLS. The first price offer has been set, much like an auction. But before the buyer can counter or accept the price, with possible conditions, he has to see the house. His agent will need to call or otherwise communicate with the sellers agent, the listing agent.
If your agent decides to use a company like ShowingTime, the communication between the two agents is greatly hindered, the buyers agent can not get a good picture of the house. As a buyers agent, we know what our clients are looking for, so many times we will ask questions about the size of the rooms, closets, does the house have copper, steel some other tubing for plumbing ? Is the fence on the neighbors property line or the subject property? Point is there are many questions that a buyers agent can and usually asks a listing agent. This is the listing agents first chance to do their job, to SELL THE PROPERTY, to create a fire and excitement about the home they are representing.
However, agents and their companies who decided to take a short cut and use companies like ShowingTime lose this chance to really talk about your home, to make it stand out, to sell your home. ShowingTime and similar companies can not talk about properties because they are not Real estate agents, they can only call and schedule an appointment. Guess who they call, the homeowner. Again, the agent is removed, the listing agent now has lost the ability to communicate with the seller about the buyer who want to see the house, convey their needs and prepare to work out anything that may be specific to the buyer. Like their concern about an older HVAC system, or aging cast iron plumbing, in other words these companies greatly hinder the ability of the agents to do their jobs.
As a listing agent, I welcome calls from buyers and their agents, I will take the time to learn the needs of the client they are representing and discuss these needs with the seller to find a solution if an issue should arise, in other we prepare based on the information we gather at the initial phone call. It may be as simple as a paint job, to a credit of some sort or a Home Warranty. But, without the initial conversation that begins with the initial request to show a home this is lost for both the buyer and seller.
At Century 21 we have great tools that keep the conversation between a buyer, his agent and the listing agent going. These tools keep us in touch with each other so we can negotiate a sale of your property that works for you and the buyer. After all that is the goal.
*ShowingTime is a company name located in Chicago