THE QUESTION TO FOUR RECENT RESIDENTIAL BUYERS
What do you wish agents knew about show houses and viewings?
Helen Hinkley | Hout Bay, Cape Town
We recently bought a house and obviously went to a whole lot of show houses and viewings. What I couldn’t understand was why the estate agent would follow us around the whole time. Sure, we wanted a tour of the place, but then all I wanted was to be able to get a feel for it, and chat to my husband as we walked around and tried to imagine living there. So many agents followed us from room to room giving us sales pitch after sales pitch when all I wanted was some quiet. We ended up buying from an agent who showed us the house and then quietly walked around the garden while we looked around – it was such a refreshing change!
Ashlee Petersen | Fish Hoek, Cape Town
I don’t know why estate agents love taking it upon themselves to show prospective buyers properties that are completely out of scope of their initial requirements. Maybe it’s because they don’t have enough properties in their books that match the brief, so instead of ‘fessing up and saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any properties that match your criteria”, they take their clients on a wild goose chase. We dragged our kids along to so many viewings of houses we would never, ever buy.
Tom Ferris | Bryanston, Johanneburg
One Sunday, when my wife and I were doing the show house rounds in Bryanston, we came across two types of estate agents. There were those who appeared to make up answers to questions about the property, and those who came back with a respectable response like, “I’m not entirely sure, but I will find out and get back to you”, and they really did get back to us too. We ended up renovating rather than selling and buying, but based on those estate agents, I know who I would use to sell my house.
Mathew Irish | Killarney, Johannesburg
The biggest let down when coming to see show houses after you’ve seen them online is what I consider deceptive photography. Of course the photos are taken to show off the house in the best possible way, and to encourage buyers to view the property, but when the reality is very different, it’s hard not to be disappointed. It’s usually about size – a garden which looks good in the photos that turns out to be postage-stamp size. Or a kitchen that looks gleaming but in reality, it’s old and in disrepair. Estate agents need to realise the emotional coaster sellers and buyers go thorough in the process, and manage expectations accordingly.
Words: Kate Calnan