Reading Between the Lines of Your Home Buyer’s Feedback

Home Buyer's Feedback It is so much work to get your house ready to sell.  You take weeks even months preparing your home, the showings start and you are so anxious to get feedback from each home buyer, hoping this is the one.  Sometimes the home buyer’s feedback is straight forward other times it needs to be put in context with other home buyers feedback to get a full understanding of what is going on.

Home buyer feedback is one of the best tools we have to monitor what is going on with your listing and make any adjustments as needed, whether it may be a price adjustment or maybe a repair or some little tweeks.

Feedback can actually be a fickle thing and it has taken many years for me to understand some of the subtle nuances in reading between the lines of home buyer’s feedback.

Look at Home Buyer’s Feedback Holistically

One negative comment does not mean the world is ending.  Everyone is different and will have a variety of opinions as well as wants and needs in a home.

What you are looking for is a pattern.  Do you keep receiving the same negative feedback over and over again?  Once you start receiving the same negative comment for a number of your showings, you have a decision to make.

Maybe it is something you can correct, then by all means do so, if practical.

If it is not practical to do so or it is a negative that can’t be corrected the only way to address it is a price change.  When trying to properly price a home there are so many factors that are hard to even put a number on. 

In my neck of the woods, extremely small lots, houses built on slabs, location differences even function and appeal differences are very hard to put an exact number on when it comes time to determine the proper list price of your home.  Remember, fair market value of your home was probably given to you in a pretty wide range.  But, with most home sellers they automatically go to the top of the range and forget where the bottom was.

But eventually your home buyer’s feedback may reveal what is going.

When the feedback has a pattern, it definitely makes it easy to make the necessary adjustment.

Home Buyer Feedback



When the Home Buyer’s Feedback is Not So Straight Forward

As an agent that has been listing homes for many years, there are two things that can happen that indicate you have overpriced your home.

  1. There is plenty of decent feedback with no offers.  You will have plenty of showings and your feedback will be decent, as matter of a fact there might not be one negative comment at all.  But still no offer.
  2. The feedback is mostly negative but with no pattern.   You will hear the house is too small, the yard is too small, the rooms are choppy, etc….  Yet there will be no clear pattern to sink your teeth into.

In general, for a typical home in a community, 12-15 showings should bring you an acceptable offer on your home.  Once you start hitting 15-20 showings with no offer the buying public is giving you feedback….

Reading between the lines the feedback is we don’t find your home compelling enough to make an offer.

You May Not Get Feedback From Every Home Buyer

Frustrating as it may be, you are not going to get feedback from every buyer and or agent.  Would it be nice, yes, but will it always happen, no. 

Don’t be the seller that calls looking for feedback before the home buyer’s have left the house.  Your agents phone call for feedback is not going to change how the home buyer’s perceived your home or make them write an offer. 

Let’s take it one step further.  If as an agent representing a home buyer we see a home that my buyer’s love more often than not we rush back to the office to get an offer in right away. 

A lack of home buyer feedback and no offer is feedback in itself…. what is it saying?

“No we don’t want to buy your house, it doesn’t suit our needs” Or,

“Your house isn’t compelling enough to make an offer” Or

“We feel we can do better based on what we are seeing”

Home Buyers Are Empowered by the Internet

Understanding today’s home buyer’s will give you some insight. The internet has certainly empowered the home buyer with the amount of information they can get on a home.

A home buyer gets the thought to buy.  Often a home buyer will spend months even up to a year just looking at homes on the internet. 

Finally they may venture out and start doing some drive-bys and open houses.

Then usually they start viewing homes with an agent they have selected to represent them.

All the while they are educating themselves and getting a feel for the market.  The buyers are learning what their money can buy them.  How big? What condition? What amenities? Etc….  They may have a few to even well over a 100 homes under their belt with the internet and actual viewings. They have an idea of what the competition is offering compared to your home.

By the time they view your home many of the home buyers coming through will be very educated about the local real estate market

What’s it Mean When You Have Low or No Showing Activity?

No showings or low showings is actually feedback in itself from home buyers.  When you have low or no showings especially when you first market a home that is feedback from home buyer’s in itself.

Home buyers are telling you your home doesn’t come close to standing up to the competing homes on line.  They are telling you have missed the boat by at least 5-10% if not more.  

When you have a lack of or no showings the home buying public is telling you there are much better choices for us out in the marketplace.  Your home is not even piquing interest online.

What Home Buyer Feedback Questions do I ask?

These are the questions I send out for feedback to the showing agents.

  1. What Did Your Client Think of the Price? Broken down into multiple choice 5-10% overpriced or more, over priced, 3-5% overpriced, priced at or near market, great deal.
  2. What Did You as an Agent think of the price?  Broken down into multiple choice 5-10% overpriced or more, over priced, 3-5% overpriced, priced at or near market, great deal.
  3. What did your clients like about the house?
  4. What did your clients dislike about the house?
  5. As an agent do you have any suggestion to make the house more saleable?
  6. Any additional feedback would be welcome.

So I don’t really care what a client thinks about the price, many will just say it is over priced. 

What an agent thinks about the price is 50/50 for me.  I have been in the business for many years and know a lot of the local agents.  I care when certain agents I have a great relationship with give feedback on the price.  Others I don’t know, not so much.

What I really want to know is the answers to questions 3, 4, and 5 as well as any additional feedback.  This can be telling if there is something that a seller needs to address.

Final Thoughts on Home Buyer’s Feedback

Feedback can be a great tool for sellers to monitor and make adjustments to their home.  Your agent will have some insight into what the feedback means if it is not as straightforward as you would like. 

Where feedback is extremely valuable is when there is a pattern of the same negative feedback from a majority of the buyers.  It alerts you to a problem that needs to be addressed. 

Even if there is no pattern consider each negative comment.  Is it something that can be addressed easily?  If so do it. 

For example, there may be a seller I have asked to clean up and de-clutter their home, but they don’t take the time to do it because they don’t feel it is necessary.   Get a comment or two that the house is a mess and we are going to have a conversation. 

At the end of the day feedback will let you know if you need to make some changes or if your home is overpriced.  Pay close attention to the feedback it may just help get your house sold.

Other Resources About Home Buyer Feedback:

Reading Between the Lines of Your Home Buyer’s Feedback is provided by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate of Tewksbury MA. If you would like to sell your home give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.

Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford

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