Showing Property Only After Offer Received

by Steve Crossland, REALTOR in Austin TX on June 5, 2007 · 5 comments

I’m making phone calls to preview a batch of homes this morning for an investor. One of the listings has showing access as “Appointment with Agent”. I called the agent and the conversation went like this:

Me: Hi. It’s Steve Crossland with the Crossland Team at Keller Williams. I want to preview {property address} today. Can we arrange that?
Agent: Uhh, well … we’re only showing that one after an offer is made.
Me: My buyer isn’t going to write an offer without me first determining that it’s a good candidate property. I can’t do that without walking through. Can we arrange it or should I scratch it off the list?
Agent: Scratch it off your list. Sorry. Our tenant won’t let us show the property.
Me: OK. Good Luck with it.

What chance does this home have of selling? About zero. If a tenant is uncooperative, or the home doesn’t show well with a tenant, the smart thing to do is not market the property until either the tenant moves out or the situation can be improved or at least mitigated to a workable degree. Simply refusing to show a home is a very tough way to sell a home. The Seller and the Listing Agent are both wasting their time.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh June 5, 2007 at 12:14 pm

That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.

2 ARZ June 5, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Well, I think the seller might be desperate. He hates his tenant and he just want to get rid of them completely. So in this case, drive around the neighborhood, look at the house from outside. Then make a big low ball offer. You never know, it might be a super bargain those flippers needed…

3 RI June 12, 2007 at 4:03 pm

As an inspector it is very common for me to inspect condos for investors that have never seen the property. I am not talking about out of state clients. These are home grown investors looking at property that has a leasee in the property and they do not want a hoard of “lookers” coming through “their” home. They have agreed with the current owner to allow “serious” contracted parties into the property for an inspection after the contract has been written. May sound like a desparate seller to you, but it is happening all over Austin in the hot duplex markets.

4 Steve Crossland June 12, 2007 at 7:38 pm

It’s more common and normal to have restricted showings on properties that only investors would be interested in. We see it with duplexes a lot, and we even have a duplex listed where one side can be shown easily but the tenant occupied side is shown only by appointment with me for serious buyers ready to make an offer.

It’s tough though to sell a residential home in a residential neighborhood that way. The biggest pool of potential top dollar buyers – i.e. owner occupants – are essentially eliminated from considering that home since there are abundant alternative homes to view.

5 jim June 14, 2007 at 7:39 am

You’d be surprised, Steve. In today’s market, a lot of people make offers sight unseen. All you really risk losing is the $100 option fee. If it’s a hot property, make an offer as quickly as possible, and bail out later if you see it and don’t like it. Sometimes it’s better to miss out on $100 here and there than a really good property.

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