My house has been on the market for sale since early February. In that time, I’ve had more than 40 showings by Realtors. Of those several dozen Realtors, I’d say maybe five actually took the time to properly schedule an appointment.
I’m not sure how the status quo came to be, but in Realtor-speak, the phrase “make an appointment” is apparently now synonymous with the phrase “leave a message and then do whatever the heck you want without awaiting a reply.”
The most recent example was yesterday, when I was caught half-dressed in my pajamas by a Realtor and clients who said they had called about an hour earlier to schedule a showing. I told them I had not received their message—the phones and Internet were down from a thunderstorm—and they got all huffy when I told them that they couldn’t come inside until I had time to at least put on some clothes. The Realtor seemed exasperated, as if I had done something wrong by being in my own house in my pajamas on a Sunday morning.
I wonder what the Realtor would have said if she’d caught me in the shower or in some other, more compromising position. Would I have been expected to stand there naked, apologizing to her after she’d barged into my home using the lock box key? And how about if it were a weekday and I was on a conference call for work? Would the Realtor expect me to stop earning a living so that she could traipse around my house and make my dog go crazy barking?
I’d also like to know how Realtors “schedule” their other appointments. Do they call their doctors’ offices an hour in advance, leave a message that they’re en route, and expect the doctors to be at their beck and call? And what about dinner dates? Do they call someone they want to see, leave them a voice mail about when and where to show up, and then get angry if the person is not there?
For the record, I’d like to say to all the Realtors out there that the proper way to make an appointment of any kind is to actually connect with the other person. Leaving a voice mail, sending an e-mail, or texting a day and time are things that you might be able to get away with when ordering a secretary around, but they are not an appropriate way to do business when you want access to a person’s home.
I know that times are tough, the housing market continues to spiral downward, and many Realtors feel desperate to generate sales, but let’s at all least try to preserve some basic human manners.