I’ve talked to a few home owners lately who have a property on a market that are getting frustrated with all the “lookers” but no Buyers. When you list your home with a Realtor, part of the commission you pay is for the service of a Buyers agent. Most people expect a Buyers agent to qualify prospective Buyers before bringing them into a home for a showing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all the time (some may say rarely). Chances are if you call up a real estate office and spoke with the agent doing “floor duty”, you could ask to see a particular home and probably wouldn’t be asked much of anything before meeting the agent at the home for a showing. Agents are HUNGRY for any warm body asking about real estate and some won’t risk turning someone off by asking questions.
The reason I bring this up is that a new listing in SLO is requiring a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage company before scheduling a showing. This is a high-end listing so this request is not surprising but it may become more common for other listings if homeowners continue to get a lot of lookers.
Unfortunately, while requiring this is not that much of a pain (it doesn’t take much to get a pre-qual from a mortgage company) a lot of agents are not going to like the extra work. Unless it becomes a more common request, the homewoners that do it first risk turning away Realtors with potential Buyers that don’t want to do the extra step. But, this could only help a Realtor to know what a Buyer is qualified for. I also know that some Buyers are out looking at homes way above what they qualify for thinking that they may be able to get the seller to take 20-25% lower because of the market conditions. Having a Buyer look at homes they are not qualified for only makes the ones they really can afford less appealing and instead of a Buyer…they stay a Looker.