Sunday, January 21, 2007

Scheduling your real estate showings in Chicago

I've been caught a couple times this weekend by prospective buyers and Realtors from outside Chicago looking to see properties very quickly.

Here are a few pointers to help you get into the properties you want to see, or to help your Realtor plan his or her weekend:

  • Realtors in Chicago don't use lock-boxes very often. This odd habit started years ago, and the practice survives today.
  • The listing Realtor will come to show the property for sale most of the time.
  • If you are using the services of a Realtor to show you homes, your Realtor will be juggling his or her schedule for the weekend between showing his or her own listings as well as trying to take buyers out on tours.
  • The Realtor who has the listing will be doing the same thing.
  • Homebuyers in Chicago don't always have their homes or their families ready for showings the same day the requests come in.

Therefore, if you want to have the greatest chance of seeing properties, you'd be wise to:

  • If you're using a buyer's Realtor to take you on a tour, reserve time with your Realtor by Wednesday afternoon or first thing (before 9am) Thursday morning.
  • Your Realtor will need to call all the listing Realtors for appointments as soon as possible to guarantee you'll get into the listings you want.
  • If you're doing it on your own, call the listing Realtors by Noon on Friday. I get a rush of phone calls on Friday afternoon - most after 4:00, some after 6:00. By this time, my weekend is usally full.
  • Check the websites for Open Houses. You may get lucky and be able to fill your Sunday with properties that already have open houses scheduled. The Chicago Tribune has a very comprehensive database of open houses.
  • Open houses aren't as popular on Saturday except for developments. If you're looking for a new construction or newly rehabbed property, your favorite neighborhood should have some development open houses on Saturday for you.

Hopefully this explains why you may have not gotten the appointments you've requested here in Chicago, and would ordinarlily be considered quite reasonable anywhere else in the suburbs, or the rest of the country.