Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Why Don't Agents Listen to What I Want and Show Me Only These Houses?

Why Don't Agents Listen to What I Want and Show Me Only These Houses?

Why don't real estate agents show buyers only the houses they have asked to see? I was reading a real estate forum this weekend, and someone posed this question. He was very upset that the agent he is working with won't send him listings he wants to see, but instead is only sending him listings she thinks he wants to see. He went on to say what he was looking for, and throughout his statements he would put things in parathesise like (but I didn't tell her that) or (she doesn't know this).

My response was "... If you are talking in code and not actually telling her what type of project you're willing to undertake, that's your problem, not the agent's. I'm sure she would be very willing to show you some dumps where you can throw $50k at it to make it what you want, but if she's under the impression from your coded words that you just want a "fixer", you haven't clearly explained what that means."

austin tx real estate diy fixerI get buyers all the time who say they don't mind a "fixer". I try to get as much information as possible as everyone's definition of a fixer is different. Most will say they can do flooring and paint. Well, that's not really a "fixer", as those are just cosmetic and personal things. Do you want carpet or hardwoods or tile? Do you not like the color on the wall and you want to make it more neutral?

A "fixer" is more like a house that needs updates like the kitchen cabinets, appliances, and counters and the bathroom cabinets, counters, and fixtures, and the house needs to get rid of brass for a more updated brushed nickle or bronze look. The popcorn ceiling needs to be scraped for a smoother texture. The fence needs to be stabilized... etc..

More and more, I get buyers saying they are ok with doing work like this because they watch a lot of DIY. And time and time again, I show them houses where they say, "Well, ummm, this needs a lot of work..." and I point out that it's just what they asked for. And back to the drawing board.

Most people who say they're ok with a fixer aren't actually ok with it once they see reality. Many people who say they can do the painting and flooring themselves really want it already done for them as a convenience. More and more, people say what they want, but don't actually mean what they say. As an agent, I have to help them understand their options and show them what something done looks like compared to a "fixer". More times than not, they pick the house already done.

Last year, I had a buyer who wanted a fixer. Two of the houses I showed him were the same floorplan. One was $30k more than the other and was updated. I thought for sure he would pick the lesser priced home so he could do the updates/upgrades for less than the $30k premium on the other price... but he chose the house already done. He realized that he would be living in construction for several months and the stress of picking things out and coordinating wasn't for him.

Not everyone picks the redone property, but most will. Because of that, it's my job to show both sides. Also, because of that, my average buyer buys a property in less than 6 houses they view. Yes, some people need to see a few extra when they don't know the area very well, but that also means I have many buyers who buy within just a couple of houses they see. That's called LISTENING to what my buyers want!!

If you want an agent who will listen to your needs and wants, and you're in the Austin TX area, please contact me today!

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
Regent Property Group

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **

Copyright© 2013 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
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Comment balloon 10 commentsDonna Harris • September 16 2013 09:01AM


Donna, I agree that you need to be very specific with a buyer when they say they want a fixer. great post.

Posted by Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate, Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties (RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales) about 5 years ago

It is a matter of time, energy, and money, so true Donna, and if ALREADY DONE, the buyer is way ahead of the game in terms of THEIR convenience. Very good point you make. A DISCUSSION between agent and client, a frank one, can zero in on the true acceptance of what they will take sooner rather than later.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

You used the right words - ask, ask, ask, and listen, listen, listen! First you have to show them what they think they want, then gently transition to what they actually want - as quickly as possible.  

Posted by Laurie Martinez, South Orange County Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) about 5 years ago

Helen, Thanks!

Gary, It's like buying a spec home or building yourself. Do you really want the stress of picking all the selections?

Laurie, Yes, quickly! Not several months later when everyone is frustrated.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 5 years ago

Donna - If buyers are getting their education from so called "reality" real estate shows on TV then they really don't have a clue what the real world is like.  It's up to us to bring them back to reality. 

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) about 5 years ago


A number of buyers want to a fixup because of the price . . . . but sometime fixup will cost more them the that ready to go. Sometimes it will take a heart to heart with the buyers, other times after they see a couple fixup homes they will make a real decision on what they really want.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 5 years ago

I think buyers often say those words to see how they feel coming out of their mouths, but they have no intention of actually handling a hammer if they can help it.

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) about 5 years ago

Communication is the key.  I think the agents ability to LISTEN is so vital.  You have to listen with your mind open to what they are saying, not to what or where you want to direct them.  Our job is to assist, consult and fascilitate and understanding what an honest and open client is saying is the first big step. Thanks for this discussion

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group) about 5 years ago

Donna, Just to let you know that I highlighted you in "My Favorites" for last week. Here is the link:

Posted by Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate, Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties (RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales) about 5 years ago

Sometimes Buyers speak in code and sometimes agents speak in jargon. Two ships passing in the night.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 5 years ago