Using An Out-Of-Area Agent

Don’t.

Well, most times. There are agents that can still provide good service even if they are not based in the immediate area, but I find most houses listed with an out-of-area agent are poorly represented.

Here are some of the issues I find, starting with this house in my neck of the woods. Listed just under 2 million, this is what a buyer is greeted with:

Yes. At least 6 inches of snow to trek through before getting to the door.

You know what they say about first impressions…

Am I the only one that thinks this way; I have 2 million dollars to spend, that’s a lot of money, and I expect to find a 2 million dollar house that looks and is presented as such.

Having snow drip into my $600 loafers is not going to leave a good impression and I’d be inclined to not even go into the house seeing that wall of snow.

Maybe this house is part of the night’s watch and defending the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings and white walkers?

Those books were amazing. Too bad I’ll never be able to read how it ends, and the series was ruined by the last 3 seasons…

Oh, by the way, I don’t wear $600 loafers, I wear decent, budget-friendly shoes because I destroy them no matter the price point.

But I digress and am getting off-topic.

So, my nice and practical Cole Haan boats and I were prepared to brave the elements and successfully navigated the grueling climb to get into the house.

The appointment instructions were to remove shoes. There was no area rug at the front door and there was so much dried-up ice-melter salt, I could have scraped it up and had a perfectly preserved crime scene investigation-esque mould of the front vestibule.

Shoes stay on.

In case you forgot, this is a 2 million dollar home.

It was vacant, unstaged, and I could tell by the shoddy staining of the staircase it was a flip.

The engineered hardwood floor was covered in perfectly outlined footprints from salt and sand stuck to the bottom of visitors’ shoes.

This would not happen under my watch. No, I’m not part of the night’s watch. I happen to take a lot of pride when present houses for sale and there is no way I would allow a house to become this filthy and uncared for.

I have standards and one is a clean presentable house. If it’s a vacant house, I’ll check in on it and make sure it’s still clean.

I may have to do it daily depending on the number of appointments.

Yes, even if it’s not in my immediate area. I was hired to sell a home. I promised a certain level of representation and I would feel like a complete fraud if I didn’t hold up my end of the agreement.

Back to the house, when I went upstairs, random lights were on and one of the washroom exhaust fans was running.

I found MLS listing sheets from one of the previous showing agents rolled into a scroll and left on the ensuite washroom counter, along with the added bonus of someone’s unflushed pee in the toilet.

I’ll spare you a disgusting, moldy photo.

These are some of the poor service aspects and can be easily applied to a local agent as well. Just examples of poor preparation, marketing, and professionalism.

But what if I were a buyer just driving around and saw the for sale sign and wanted to see the house?

I call the number on the sign, right?

So (hypothetically) I dial the 705 number on the sign expecting to be able to make an appointment within an hour or so.

Is an agent from Orillia really going to be able to get down to the house in a reasonable amount of time to show it?

Is an agent from Orillia really going to travel almost three hours there and back to check up on the house to make sure it’s still presentable, or that no one has taken a massive dump in one of the toilets and clogged it?

How about snow removal?

How well-versed is this Orilla-based agent with the schools, parks, heck, real estate activities, and prices of the area?

If a home seller in Orillia asked me to list their home, I would decline and refer them to a good local agent.

How well could I service a house in Orillia from my location in West Rouge, Toronto?

But a lot of agents don’t think this way. They just hope like hell one of the 70,000+ other realtors on the Toronto Real Estate Board has a buyer for the house.

That’s a marketing plan?


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