Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Do You Give Usable Feedback or Meaningless Feedback?

Do You Give Usable Feedback or Meaningless Feedback?

In my market, we have a showing service who sets up all our appointments, Centralized Showing Service.  It's great.  1 call can set 10 appointments for the day, or you can even login to their website and schedule it from there. Very easy.

Within this system, they also send out an automatic email to showing agents from the listing agent asking for feedback on the showing.  You can have your system set to send out an email however many times you want.  I usually do 3. If they don't answer by then, they're not going to answer.

When I show properties, I always try to give feedback.  Not just basic feedback like, "Buyers liked the house" or "Not on short list." How is this feedback useful? I call it meaningless feedback as there is no meaning behind it.

Feedback like, "The buyers didn't like the size of the yard or that the master bedroom is at the front of the house" is something that the sellers can work with.  Feedback like, "The house was so cluttered, the buyers couldn't see past the sellers stuff" is something that the sellers can work with, or at least the listing agent so they know what their next conversation will be with their seller.

As many of you know, my house is currently on the market.  We had a showing on Saturday and the buyers were at the house about 25 minutes.  That's a good showing!

I got a call Saturday night saying that these same buyers wanted to come back for a second showing on Sunday afternoon.  FABULOUS!!  We spit cleaned the house and made it shine better than the day before, though it was already looking its best.

I waited and waited, and finally saw the feedback on the website, "Shows is on their short list."  And??  What the heck does that mean?  They were only at the house less than 15 minutes the second time.  In my experience, the second showing is usually longer than the first showing if they really like it.  How does that feedback help me?  How do I know how to help compete with the other properties on the short list?  Do you not like the color of my brick?  Do you like the openness of the floorplan?  Do you not like that you would need to clean 4 full bathrooms?  Do you like the huge backyard and covered patio??

Why couldn't you provide usable feedback so I know why my house doesn't fit their needs?  I appreciate you taking the time to give "feedback", but what you gave is meaningless.  It doesn't help me as the seller, but it also doesn't help you as the buyer's agent.  Maybe your buyer had a couple of concerns and that's why they aren't jumping to write an offer. If you don't ask about those concerns, I can't help you gather the further information.

If you're going to take the time to give feedback, please think about how your feedback impacts your own buyers as well.  And if you know these buyers ruled the house out, maybe give some constructive feedback in case you have other buyers you want to show the house to.

Comment balloon 60 commentsDonna Harris • January 12 2009 02:49PM


Unfortunately, most Realtors where I am don't bother to give any feedback.  I always do.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) about 12 years ago

It is very hard to give honest feedback in an email. Lots of times sellers have access to that as well and you as a agent don't know if they do or don't. I personally prefer to call agents that have showen my listings it is easier for them and feedback is usually more honest and useful.

Posted by Sonja Babic, New Bern NC, PRIME Realty NC, LLC (Sonja Babic/PRIME Realty NC, LLC) about 12 years ago

Feedback can be tough.  Some agents don't take honest feed back well and it's not worth the grief you get.  I do give feedback but if it something that the seller can never change I don't mention it (like the road is too busy) because they already know and can't do a thing.

Posted by Diana Corcoran, Rhinebeck Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hudson Valley Properties) about 12 years ago

Sometimes buyers don't communicate with their agents as openly as we would like.  I've had buyers who were very closed mouth.  They always wanted to discuss a property between themselves before they let me know anything.  I've also had others who were delighted to verbally cut a property to pieces.  It's under those circumstances where an agent learns to become very tactful.  There are times when the buyers have no real objections other than the property just doesn't "talk" to them.

They may not be telling you much for fear of tipping their hand.  They may feel that minimal feedback gives them a better negotiating position.  If they go on and on about how much they love your house, you  are more likely to play hard ball with the price.  If they cut down the property too much, you may be offended and not want to deal with them at all.  If I were their agent, I would have done the same thing.

Good luck and take care.

Posted by Cindy Leiterman, Green Bay, WI (Resource One Realty, LLC) about 12 years ago

While I understand your position, showing feedback is from the days of subagency.  I think feedback is a courtesy and not a requirement.

I think feedback can compromise the buyer's position and while the feedback is not helpful to you for the second showing, I think the agent's response was very appropriate.  Her clients are interested, and so unless they tell her to disclose their thoughts on the house to you, that agent would be violating their fiduciary duties to their client. 

I actually think meaningless feedback is probably the most correct route in order to protect your fiduciary duties to your buyer.

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) about 12 years ago

I agree with Cindy's post above. We also use CSS which makes giving and receiving feedback easy. I was trained to always give helpful feedback but sometimes buyers don't really say much. I do set the stage up front when I show buyers the very first home the importance of giving me detailed feedback and they usually comply. Sometimes though, we just don't have a lot to report back, but it's not always due to a lack of effort.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 12 years ago


It's much harder to write feedback on a house that doesn't need any changes/repairs/upgrades than it is on one that does. 


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 12 years ago

We have CSS here too and I too like the fact that all I have to do is call one number to make appointments (unless the listing company doesn't use CSS). As far as feedback goes though only about half of the agents here give feedback and I have never gotten any feedback that was helpful.

About 95% of the time I will leave some form a feedback but I have noticed that the last few houses that I showed I didn't even get asked for feedback. In the late 80's and early 90's we never heard of asking for feedback.

Take care!

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) about 12 years ago

Donna, you are so right on this one. It is all about constructive details. Put some meat in that feedback.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 12 years ago

Feedback is useful if it can independently confirm issues with a property that a seller ignores when it is coming from their own listing agent. I agree comments about things the seller or the agent can't change are not constructive. Comments about things that can be changed can be useful. As a listing agent I have had sellers ask me to get back to the buyer's agent and tell them that he is willing to paint the bedroom a different color. Someimes I ask the seller for permission to offer some concession to a potential buyer if that might get the buyer off the fence. Feedback can give the listing agent a tool to have some kind of remote interaction with the buyer through their agent.

Posted by Ted Jernigan (Ebby Halliday Real Estate) about 12 years ago

I, too, love constructive criticism. Without it I don't know how to change something that's wrong. I even offer showing agents an incentive if they'll rate the home on a scale of 1-10 about the home's condition and price and then guess what they think the final selling price will be. Once the home closes, the person who guesses closest to the price recieves a $20 gift card. $20 is worth good feedback!

Posted by Kim Dean, Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner ( about 12 years ago

You're right. Meaningless feedback is, well, meaninless. Point taken. I'll try to do better myself.

Kim - what an interesting idea. I may use it sometime. Thanks.

My company also does email feedback but I prefer the telephone and usually get verbal feedback before the email request even goes out.

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154 (Hurd Realty) about 12 years ago

I always give, and try to get, feedback via e-mail. That way I don't have to interpret what the other agent has to say about my listing and they can share exactly what I have to say or cushion it, whichever they choose. If the house is a dog, they will hear me bark. Share the truth no matter what the treuth may be.

Posted by Ron Tiller (Star Referral - Grand rapids MI) about 12 years ago

Honest feedback is one of the things we realtors can do for each other--we're all in this together.

 Plus, if "the buyers don't say much," you haven't established a proper relationship with your buyers. Get them talking. As a buyer's agent, I consider getting detailed feedback on a particular house as part of my job in effectively serving that buyer, learning both the big things and small things about their needs, likes, and dislikes. Walk them through the house in their mind's eye. Sometimes you have to dig a little, and you learn that all it was, was the popcorn ceilings.

And I disagree with the notion that feedback is from the days of subagency, or that if it's about things the sellers cannot change are unproductive. I have a house for sale right now, and feedback is always the same: "buyer's didn't like the neighborhood, and didn't like that it doesn't have a heat pump." Well, the sellers can't do anything about the neighborhood, but realize that what they CAN do something about is the heatpump (which I told them in the beginning they should install). since selling a house is about removing objections, sellers are now finally (after too long on the market) ready to install the heatpump, to mitigate the one final objection they CAN do something about. And they're looking at me a little more kindly because they know *I* can't do anything about the neighborhood either!

Posted by Charlene Blevins, GRI, SFR (Charlene Blevins Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Totally agree with you but how are you going to change agent practices that are already a bad habit?  Some buyers agents think that giving feedback will somehow ruin their buyers negotiating position by saying they liked it.  Well duh... if they wrote an offer I guess they do!  That is so ridiculous!  I think they came back the 2nd time because they couldn't remember something they should have looked at.  OR they wanted to compare one thing between your house and the other.  Guess you will never know now!  Buyers agents have to start giving better feedback.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 12 years ago

Kenneth, That's a shame, but good for you for being diligent.

Sonja, Interesting, because I'm opposite.  I feel I hold back when I speak with an agent about feedback whereas I will type out the issues easily.  Plus, when I speak with an agent about feedback, I don't care how brutal it is, I'll type it in the showing comments for that agent, and my sellers still see it. They need the truth.

Diana, I think mentioning the busy street or the floorplan helps explain to the seller that not everyone can overlook what they overlooked when they bought it, so I will mention the things they can't change, but not always.

Cindy, Really?  I've never run into a buyer who didn't talk... and talk... and talk... lol

Melina, I know it's not a requirement, but it's definitely a very nice courtesy, and would help more if the feedback meant something. As for fiduciary, I never give feedback like "WOW, the buyers absolutely fell in love with your house and we're going to write an offer!" Yes, that shows the cards, but giving information about they liked and didn't like is not against any fiduciary duties, in my opinion.

Dan and Amy, I'm not asking for a novel, but one or two things would be nice.  Bathroom too small.  Floorplan not open enough.  Stuff like that.


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Hi Donna !

This is very intriguing to me, because I disagree with many of the comments above !

Not that anyone is right or wrong, but my opinion is quite different.

I base a HUGE amount of my listing communication with my seller on the feedback I receive from buyers agents. I am a HUGE advocate of getting feedback and it has been invaluable to me in the past when discussing the positioning and adjustments of a listing with the sellers.

And on the other side, if I'm asked, I ALWAYS give feedback if I remember the house. I say that because I show so many houses, that if a Listing Agent calls me a week or two later while I'm in the car, I often cant remember the address they throw at me - but I will usually tell them to email it to me and I will do my best to research and give them the feedback. 

For me, it's not tough to give feedback at all. You can be diplomatic of course, but I actually like giving feedback. Even the items commented on above like a busy street and the like ... sometimes sellers dont believe that being on a busy street is that much of a big deal - after all - they bought on that busy street themselves ! I know it can help that listing agent with their conversations with the sellers.

With regards to my buyer, you certainly dont want to compromise their position if they are interested in a home, but I will give enough to the seller that they know that they are interested, and some of the things that they are not so keen on with the house. If I dont give them feedback, maybe they accept another offer without knowing my buyers had some interest !

For me, feedback, giving and getting, is a very big part of my business.



Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 12 years ago

Richard, This is true, I agree.  But there is always something like maybe they didn't like the placement of the fireplace as it hinders where their entertainment center will fit?

Teresa, That's weird that the system didn't send out requests. Did you offer it?  My VM says not to leave a message if they're calling for feedback!

Gary, Yes, thank you!

Ted, Very true like when they don't think backing to commercial property matters and the feedback is all about not liking the location because of the commercial property. The sellers need to hear that!

Kim, The $20 gift card thing is a very interesting idea.  I'm going to think about how to implement that.

Kelsey, Yes, thank you!

Ron, I agree.  I always tell my sellers they can tell if I wrote the feedback or the showing agent by it being in first or third person.

Charlene, I agree completely, thank you for your detailed comments.

Lyn, You get around showing the buyers' motivation by playing down how much they "love" it, and just mentioning a couple of things they like and dislike.  I always like to put a dislike or two so the sellers know the buyers are completely in love and "must have" the house.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago


I loved your post. Feedback is crucial especially in this market. I'll have to check out CSS but I use I've been using it for a year and I get over 85% response rate from buyer agents. Before homefeedback I was lucky to get a 50% response rate. I agree with Sheldon, I use the feedback in commuication with my sellers.

Posted by Rick Coyne, Developing relationships for life (EXIT Oceanside Realty) about 12 years ago

Donna, I'd rather see "this one is on the buyer's short list" than to not get any feedback at all. I've got mine CSS setting at 3 emails also, but I try to call a day or so after the showing to get verbal feedback if the agent doesn't respond in CSS.

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Yes feed back should be done in a timely fashion. Sellers are always wanting to know how it showed. I tell my sellers I'll give them feedback, good, bad or indiffernt.  Tell it like it is.....but tell it.


Patricia Aulson/ Portsmouth NH Real Estate

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) about 12 years ago

It's true.  If you are not providing information that can be used then it's just a waste of time.

Posted by Tony and Libby Kelly, CRS, ABR, ePro, SRES, CLHMS, CDPE (Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere) about 12 years ago

Tony and Libby Kelly: I can't imagine a scenario where there is feedback/information that cannot be used. can you give me an example?

Posted by Charlene Blevins, GRI, SFR (Charlene Blevins Real Estate) about 12 years ago

I agree with Melina - as a buyer's agent I usually don't want to give much feedback.  Perhaps if the house was 100% off their list I would but I generally don't say much.  If there was something that could easily be addressed - the lights weren't on, the heat was too low - I might add that. 

We've never been a market where feedback was asked for or given. In fact, it smelled slightly of desperation if you asked. Now, of course, it's become a bit more common - as people get more desperate!  But the hounding by the automated systems drives most of us nuts.

I know it is frustrating as a seller to not get feedback. For me, when I sold, I wasn't enthusiastic about the comment cards that the agent forwarded to me.  I loved my house and was let's say - a bit defensive about it. My thoughts were - buy it or shut up - or something along those lines.

I try to prepare my sellers from the beginning for not getting as much feedback as they might like.  In the end, I tell them, the best feedback is an offer. 

Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) about 12 years ago

Sheldon, Thank you for such a detailed answer.  For me, agents can't reach me directly so they'll never catch me off guard in the car, and when they call the number they have for me, it says not to leave a message for feedback and that I will give it within 72 hours of my showing, so I can't use the excuse that I've forgotten the house.

Rick, CSS is not available in all markets, but it should be.  I won't be able to use it when I move to Austin.

Lorrie, True, I much rather see an offer, but when one doesn't come in and they've looked at it twice, I wanna know!!!

Patricia, Exactly!

Tony and Libby, Yep, I agree, thank you!

Charlene, Probably from the example I gave like, "Nice house."  Great, thanks, but what's nice about the house.  If you're not submitting an offer, how is the house "nice"?

Elizabeth, Yes, I also prepare my sellers for having showings where the other agent just won't respond, but when they do, it would be nice for some useful information.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Hi Donna,  I really don't like the email response system and won't use it.  I call the agent and give them very direct and honest feedback if I have it from the buyer !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 12 years ago

I understand your frustration Donna and it is my hope that the eyes and recommendations of a professional home stager would be employed more often than not for this very reason.  Whether lack of time, motivation or desire, Realtor/buyer feedback on a listing is crucial for the seller to know where they can improve (or not in some cases - you can't control where the master bedroom and bath is). 

It is one of the things I ask my sellers/Realtors if the home I'm seeing has been on the market for a while and I'm called in for fresh eyes and merchandising, "what has been the feedback?" Sometimes there is none but as soon as I walk thru the property I can identify key areas that can be improved on or just minor changes/updates that can be made to help make significant buyer friendly improvements.

Best of luck with your sale Donna!

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) about 12 years ago

Elizabeth, I don't think asking for feedback has anything to do with desperation, but only to do with reality and professionalism. In fact, I can't imagine anyone thinking feedback is anything but more information--a tool--to help you sell the home. We realtors can have personal likes and dislikes that color opinions just like the sellers do. What I--and serious sellers-- want to know is what the market thinks.

And you sound like one of those sellers who likes her house, thinks it's perfect, and thinks anyone who disagrees  doesn't "deserve" your wonderful home.  You may still love that duck border you put up in the den in 1988, but most buyers will see that it's dated.

Yes, an offer is the most positive form of feedback. But short of an offer, what did you think? Why didn't you make an offer? what were your objections? THAT's feedback.

Posted by Charlene Blevins, GRI, SFR (Charlene Blevins Real Estate) about 12 years ago

It is too bad that every agent doesn't have to go through having their own home for sale, to see why feedback is so important. (among other things)  I know sometimes it is nothing wrong with a home, just that another home might work better.  Two houses can be almost alike, and they will prefer a wall color or a window shape over another. Doesn't mean anything was wrong with the other home...just personal preference. And I am surprised that two homes exactly alike...they will go with the one that is decorated better or in their taste. Don't they know that empty-they both look alike!  Hope you get yours sold quickly. Looking forward to meeting you!

Posted by Sherry Scales, Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 12 years ago

Getting good feedback is really helpful, and having to tell sellers that most of those agents didn't say anything in response is frustrating for them and for me, but I can understand the lack of response a lot of times.  When I've had a long day of showing several and I get requests about properties I showed days ago, I may not have the details of those houses at my fingertips, and I may be too tired to look them up.   I may not even remember exactly how my buyers felt about one we saw that day.   Maybe my memory is at fault; it's not lack of consideration.   I usually promise to call back and I do when I have the file in front of me.  

Has anyone else ever had a listing agent use you to tell the truth they weren't brave enough to tell?   "Mary Sheridan said the carpet was dirty and the closets were cluttered."   When I bring an offer, they're primed not to like me.   

Posted by Mary Sheridan, Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655 (Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604) about 12 years ago

I always try to give good feedback.  Of course I'm also a mortgage originator so it is nice to have Realtors like me even if I'm not going to buy that listing.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) about 12 years ago

WOW...what a variety of comments about let me make a couple points...

1) Lucky you that have the CSS where you can book all your showings. I can't imagine...but I'm use to calling each agent (or owner is instructed) to set my showings. It gives me a chance to show how professional a REALTOR CAN be when they want to.

2) While feedback is a professional courtesy, I think it should be a law! It's just plain rude not to provide feedback!! I've come close to telling agents NOT to show my listing if they cannot provide me some feedback. Drives me crazy...but maybe I'm just more of a professional when it comes to that. Example: I showed a house yesterday and my buyer has specific needs regarding a basement. I commented that in my feedback to the agent, and she in turn gave me info I did not have, that now could help with the sale.

3) Personally, I don't like the automated systems. I don't think I ever give good feedback when I'm given such limited choices. However, I can also understand that agents may not have time to answer feedback calls. Then again, that's part of our job (in my opinion) and we should be working together to raise our impressions to the general public.

4) After each home/condo I show, I do a "trial close" with my buyer. "What did you think of this one? What did you like or dislike about it?" Then, at the end of the showing day, we narrow down what we looked at to the top 3 homes/condos. When asking these questions, I get the feedback I need.

And lastly, what about the agents that don't ever call for feedback on their listings??? What kind of service are you providing to YOUR clients? Hmmmmm.

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) about 12 years ago

I give feedback every time it's asked for and I prefer to do it via email. Not necessarily fill in the blanks- price- low- just right- high, etc. I fill in the comment portion thoroughly. If it's on a busy road I may give feedback that we saw houses just as nice in the same price range NOT on a busy road so the seller may want to consider lowering their price.

I've had constructive feedback cause sales (on both sides). Buyer doesn't like the carpet and can't afford to replace after closing. Well.... maybe my seller can afford to carpet to the buyer's taste and is willing to. Maybe we were just considering a price reduction and will instead use that money to change the house to meet you buyer's needs. But basically I give feedback from the buyer's perspective AND mine. Compared to what we looked at in the same area and price yours differs....... (other houses are cleaner, better location, whatever or even it didn't turn MY buyer's crank, but I think it's priced right and shows well you just need a different buyer than mine).

Posted by Jackie Hawley, Southeast Michigan Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Professionals) about 12 years ago

to Mary Sheridan: Wow, Mary! What kind of agent would use you as a scapegoat for negative feedback? Not a good one, that's for sure. First, feedback comes from the buyers, not the agent, and if I found out an agent told their sellers this in this way, I'd call their Broker and get 'em set straight! If *I* offer feedback, I make sure it's framed in a positive way, or at least in a way that depicts what the buyers perceived, like, "buyers couldn't see the great architectural details of the house because of all the clutter, and the dog smell turned them off." Should the sellers' agent choose to relay that as if I said it, and thereby setting up me and my clients as bad guys, the seller's agent isn't fulfilling his fiduciary duties to his clients by limiting the buyer pool.

Most sellers don't like negative feedback, but here, the serious sellers DO like it, even if they disagree with it. In fact, serious sellers like negative feedback more than they like positive feedback, because its a tool they can use to make the house more sellable.

Some respondents on this blog say feedback isn't common in their markets, but in mine, it's so common, and in fact expected, that my sellers think that brokers who don't give feedback are slack and not very good agents!

Posted by Charlene Blevins, GRI, SFR (Charlene Blevins Real Estate) about 12 years ago


Thank you for your post about giving feedback on showings. In my area of NC, we also have Centralized Showing Svc for setting up appointments and providing feedback to the listing agent.

After a showing, a form is automatically sent to the showing agent--there is also a place to provide comments. This is very easy to use and only takes a few minutes to complete. Even so, some agents do not provide feedback. It seems like this sustem is much easier to use than the one reported by another agent who has to call agents to gewt feedback. Sometimes negative comments help get the message to the seller that he needs to get rid of clutter, lower price, etc.

Enjoyed reading posts from other agents.

Posted by Linda DeRusha, Broker/Realtor, ABR,ASP,CDPE (Coldwell Banker Advantage) about 12 years ago

I definitely agree with giving good feedback. I don't think of it as criticism, but as a way of knowing how to improve the chance of a sale.

Sometimes, it has been my experience too, that at times your seller won't take your advice. But maybe if they see the same feedback from 2 or 3 other agents, that might get them to budge.

Last, I prefer to just leave that empty feedback box when I use CSS (rather than the questionaire). I agree with those of you that said the survey limits your responses.  In those cases, if I don't feel the survey is doing any justice, I just email the agent directly. In my case, I am an online type of person. Anything I can do online, I prefer, rather than picking up a phone or leaving a VM.

Posted by Valarie Littles about 12 years ago

Donna, I also think it's reasonable and professional to give feedback on a showing and I always try, although sometimes I feel like the listing agent only wants to know short list or not. I figure if they don't have specifics from showiing agents when they talk to the seller they just "wing it".  Good post - thanx.

Posted by Buffy Creekmore, E-Pro Broker in Lexington Tennessee (Coldwell Banker McKee Realty) about 12 years ago

Bill, I'm glad you have time to call each agent as I don't. 3-4 minutes per call showing 10 properties each time, if not more... and then having to deal with call backs if they want further details.  Sorry, no time for that.

Karen, I bet it's frustrating walking into a house and the listing agent and seller have no idea what to better because there has been no feedback.

Charlene, I don't think feedback is about desperation either.

Sherry, I have a completely new respect for people selling with kids. I've sold two other houses, but this one is hardest to keep clean because Little Ms Must Play With Everything keeps taking out things I put away!

Mary, Yes, I've had several agents use my feedback to tell their seller the truth.  Me, I just use the feedback to reenforce what I've already told them.

Mike, Great!

Thom and Ray, I'm not sure about law,  but it sounds nice.  As for the automated feedback, I don't use the forms provided.  I just send the comment box so agents can say what they want.  I don't think the forms are relevant most of the time.

Jackie, you make some very good points.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Charlene, About your comment to Mary, I disagree a little. I don't care if the agents say the feedback comes from me rather than my buyers.  I try to give an opinion as "we" this and "we" that as I'm an extention of my buyers.

Linda, I don't use the survey forms, only the comment box. Thanks for stopping by!

Valarie, I agree completely!  Good to see you around!

Buffy, Yes, but, if it's on the short list and you get no offer, you have no idea why you didn't get an offer, like the situation I'm in. It's Tuesday and we don't have an offer though we were on the short list... what does that mean?  Some short lists are 5 properties long!  It's meaningless.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Sometimes giving feedback really makes the LA angry.  Early on I always gave feedback and would get angry calls from the Listing Agagent telling me my clients opinion was wrong and I needed to redo the form?  She went as far as calling my Broker to complain (she was crazy  I even asked my wife to go out and start my car a couple of mornings but she refused). 

I recieve generic feedback from agents, I email the agent and ask that they be brutal and hold nothing back, and tell me what the deal was.  I promise not to take any words personal, as it is not my house, and their professional opinion is needed to council a client.  Most will do me the favor and via a 1 on 1 email. 

Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) about 12 years ago

u have to remember that 80% of those licensed are incompetent of being a professional Realtor. I remind myself of this everytime I "deal" with a bonehead situation. This is no different. Try reading feedback like:

No Thanks!


Buyer didn't like street


feedback in spanish!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) about 12 years ago

I do not give any feedback, not even meaningless... if I am representing the buyer as their buyers agent.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) about 12 years ago

When asked in a timely manner I always give detailed concise feed back to the risk of "pissing" off the agent.  However It does most bother me when an agent is phoning for feedback and it hasn't even been an hour or two from the time of my scheduled showing, as I'm always still in the car with my buyer, it's hard to give feedback in this case accept, we will not be considering it, or its still on our short list etc. etc. I do like responding to the email requests, especially when it includes the picture or the mls sheet of the actual property.

Posted by Sheila Santini, GRI (Waterfront and Boaters paradise Realtor! ) about 12 years ago


I try to give detailed information without upsetting agent.  This can happen.... I appreciate honest feedback as you stated so that I know and seller knows what buyers are thinking.  It really is vital in being able to relay informtion to the sellers.  I will keep your post in mind and try to be even more detailed.


Posted by Olga Diaz, Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR (COLDWELL BANKER TOMLINSON) about 12 years ago

I always give feedback because I try to respect the fact that the seller let us in their home and it is the least we can do is provide feedback. If my buyer is considering an offer, I try to protect them and their interests by saying things like it showed well, they have it on the short list, etc... I don't want to say OH- THEY LOVED IT and MUST HAVE IT- for obvious reasons. So, maybe your 2nd showing will pan out to an offer. Good luck!

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago

Hi Donna, You know when I sold my own home and bought another home of my own, boy was that an eye opener for me.  I represented myself and I represented both of the other parties on both of the other sides of the transaction.  It was very emotional.  I learned so much, and now I can truly appreciate what buyers and sellers going through. I made me a better agent!

Posted by Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate, Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast (M & M Realty of Brevard Inc.) about 12 years ago

Chad, Yeah, that can happen. I've had agents yell at me before, but they need to learn to take emotion out as this is a business transaction.

Greg, Spanish feedback would be an interesting one to receive.

Jim, I'm speechless and have no idea what to say to that statement...

Sheila, Yea, what's up with calling right afterwards. I've actually gotten calls before the showing, and I'm like, did you see the time of the appt?

Olga, Thank you for your comments.

Kristi, You make a good point of it being a courtesy for allowing the showing.

Sandy, Dang, it sounds like you had your hands full!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Great discussion, comments, opinions above.

If my feedback is solicited - I will give it, so long as it does not comprimise my buyer's position.

Simply put, if my buyer isn't interested in that home- then I definitely have no issue in stating why not.  If it helps the seller then great...

Posted by Eugénie Eckler, Oakville, Ontario (Right At Home Realty Inc.) about 12 years ago

Wow, Donna, what a discussion you have elicited! I do give feedback as a courtesy, but not to my buyer's detriment. If there are issues with a house that need to be addressed, I give constructive criticism but never gush about a house a buyer is in love with. For that, I would probably say that the house was on their list but not give too much more information. After the fact, if they had bought another house, then I would feel free to discuss the house with the listing agent as to why they did not select it.

What I really dislike is those 'fill in the blank' forms where you list whether the price is 'too high, just right, too low' - if we're not interested, what does our opinion matter?  And often it's hard to say off the cuff if a house is properly priced when you're covering a lot of neighborhoods. I like to help agents but I don't really have time to do a market analysis on every home I show.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 12 years ago

Donna - I try to give the selling agent good feedback. I notice the sometimes sellers are real quite. I need to pry the information form them.

Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) about 12 years ago

Hey Donna, Interesting timing on your post on feedback. I was asked to contribute some feedback on feedback (har har) for my weekly sales meeting and this is what I came up with... it's a little long for this comment but maybe there's something in there for you.

I posted my answer as my latest blog entry here.

IF you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think! Thanks.

Posted by Karl Lueders, Realtor - Denver (Realtor w/The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek) about 12 years ago

Here in the Raleigh area we have CSS as well.

The automatic emails that are sent out for showing agents to leave feedback is customizable. So, on the showing instructions and on the feedback email I put in:

"Please remember to leave constructive feedback. You know it's the right thing to do AND I'll do the same for you when I show your homes!"

I think it's working as I have a much higher rate of return since I've incorporated this tactic.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) about 12 years ago

Before You Condem The Buyer's Agent, Walk a Mile in My Shoes -

Your article is great from a listing agent's perspective, but let me give you the buyer's agent's perspective.

First I want to address the person who suggested that if my clients aren't talking I haven't built a relationship with them...shame on you. Adjusting styles to fit with my client's communication preferences makes the client more comfortable and more trusting. I will never force feedback from someone who wants to play their cards close to the chest. Also, I work with people relocating from all over the world and many times it is a cultural thing. Many countries negotiate for everything, and I mean everything.

Second, I know how important feedback is for my listings, but as a previous post said, "feedback is a courtesy and not a requirement". Rest assured if I have information you will get feedback.

It is impossible after showing 50+ homes, to one or several clients over the weekend, to remember each listing. Please send a link to the MLS listing, or flyer in the email body, but don’t send me an attachment. Sometimes that just won’t help, showing that many properties they can blend together and unless it was something major, sorry I probably won’t remember it.

Sure I could write down all the pros and cons, how it price compares, etc. on the listing sheet, and many times I do, but my job is to work for the buyer, not concentrate on what the listing agent wants.

Sure feedback only takes a couple of minutes for you, but after showing 50+ homes if I spend 3 minutes on every feedback x 50 = 150 minutes, that is 2 1/2 hours spent on someone else's business not mine. As a busy buyer's agent I don't have time to find the file and dig out the listing to give you feedback.

If I remember it I will tell you what I think but, I prefer to concentrate on things that generate income for me and my family.

I have a policy of replying to feedback via email only, that way I can reply in my own time without disrupting my work flow. Telephone calls take too long, some agents don't take negative comments well and become very defensive, spending lots of time telling me all the details about their CMA and why this house backing to a busy road is good for my client.

Form requests are offensive because they convey that you only want certain feedback, many forms are time consuming and many times do not address the feedback I would like to convey to you.

As far as calling me right away for feedback, all I can say is thank God for caller id. If my client senses that you are a calling they sense desperation, I don’t think that is the feeling your seller wants you to convey. That hurts both of us if your property is “the one”.

As sometimes the house and the price are OK, it just didn’t work for my clients, didn’t give them a good feel or was just a house, blah.

Off my soapbox now...

Posted by noname lastname, notile about 12 years ago

Eugenie, Thank you for your comments.

Sharon, I agree completely!

Robert, Man, none of my buyers are quiet.  Before we leave each house, I ask them "what do you not like about this house because it's the negatives that prevent you from buying."  Many want to say what they do like, but I always get them to turn it around to the negative.

Karl, I'll take a look at  your blog later today.  Just trying to catch up from being in an all day class yesterday.

Craig, That's smart to write that.  I wish I had that idea sooner.  Since I won't have CSS in Austin, I won't be able to take advantage of it... but I'm looking into some other kind of showing service there.

Kim, I u nderstand your concern, and 2-3 minutes for feedback on each property is way too long.  With CSS, all the showings are right there on the screen, and you just go one at a time typing in the feedback, and I would say about 10-15 SECONDS per listing.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

I tend to be pretty straitforward but I do sugarcoat a little sometimes so as not to be really harsh. I live in a really small town so I definitely try hard not to ruffle any feathers if I can help it.

Posted by Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate (Blowing Rock Investment Properties) about 12 years ago

Meris, That makes sense.  Thanks for contributing.  And with the fabulous feedback I received, the buyers still have not submitted an offer and it's over a week later. 

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

No Thanks..

To Expensive..

Buyer still getting approved

Buyer didn't like the size of the home

Buyer is blind and so is the agent

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) about 12 years ago

So glad to hear that you do this by email - I would think it's the most effective way to get a response - I know it is for me as I'm much more inclined to respond in a timely manner, rather than faxing a piece of paper to the office that sits in my mailbox for a week because I work from home.....I like the automated sites that show you photos of the listing - my memory doesn't recall addresses - I'm a visual type. 

I've never been afraid to be totally honest - there was one home that as soon as I walked in, I had a bad feeling.  My buyers went about their business and I had to stay at the door - I couldn't be inside.  After wards, their only comment was how creepy they felt and that the house had a bad vibe! When the listing agent called for feedback, I suggested she get a smudging stick (dried herbs, usually sage that are tightly clumped together, tied and then burnt/smudged - so the smoke will get rid of the evil spirits - a Native American practice) and conduct a ceremony to get rid of the vibe. (luckily I knew her) I think she took my other advice to get rid of the wallpaper and paint though. 

Posted by Patty Peck Flagstaff Real Estate, Flagstaff REALTOR (Realty One Group / Mountain Desert) about 12 years ago

We use the same system here in Maryland in my area and it took me a while to really learn it.  I discovered that as a listing agent we can set it so a "SURVEY" is sent instead of a blank email requesting feedback and I have had more positive results obtaining feedback this way.  I use the 8 question survey and it also breaks down the answers in statistics to show the sellers how many thought it was in excellent, fair, poor shape, etc...

Posted by Mike Klijanowicz, Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 12 years ago

Patty, Too funny!

Michael, I do not like the surveys as they are usually not relevant.  Rating condition and curb appeal still doesn't mean anything if you give it a 2 yet don't explain why it's a 2.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago