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Module 2 Discussion: Power Shopping
  • 3. What is your experience with Power Shopping with buyers? What are some of the challenges you have faced?

    After you have posted to this discussion, review your colleagues’ comments and reply to at least one other post.
  • Again, my family has had to do the power shopping :D it was fun but a bit stressful as I am not one to just settle on the first thing I like but yet our realtor at the time was very respectful of our time and made sure we had plenty of homes to look at. The only down fall we experienced was having to wait on closing. It took 30 days to close on our home, so in this instance, I would try to find a lender that will be able to close as soon as possible in order to get the family into their home.
  • I have not had an experience with Power Shopping.
  • well, i know its important for the family member who came ahead to get something in place quickly for the rest of the family will need us to be very vested and knowledgeable - pretty much a one-stop shop for them.
  • I have experienced Power Shopping in my own PCS move. The best strategy is to research the areas you are interested in and share with your Realtor.
  • I have experienced Power Shopping, I like to move on to the next home if the home doesn't feel right to them. I think it is key to understand the difference between needs and wants.
  • Not a problem !!! I love power shopping !!!
  • I have experienced this from both sides---as a shopper and an agent. I bring snacks for my clients and make sure we schedule a lunch break. We try to do 15-20 minutes at a home and move on. I bring a questionnaire for each listing that allows them to make notes on likes and dislikes and rating the home. After we narrow down the homes into favorites, we'll schedule a second showing for the top 3-5. We go slowly allowing them to imagine how the home would function for them. The questionnaire/worksheet helps us keep the features straight and makes narrowing the list more manageable. I try to use our drive time to discuss the area, neighborhood, shopping, the commute, etc... I point things out while we drive.
  • Power shopping: difficult to keep track of likes and dislikes from one home to another. They all start "running together" by the end of a day. Buyers see so much in such a short period of time, they begin to question their own list of wants and needs. Sometimes seeing too many homes makes the decision much more difficult.
  • Power shopping: I almost had an experience with power shopping. The family were on their 3rd house out of eight and had made their mind up that they wanted to put an offer on the 1st house. They did not want to see the remaining homes on the list.
  • Power Shopping: I make sure to have homes scheduled with longer viewings and overlap them. This allows for me to be able to move quickly to the next property if one does nit work right away. Also having back up homes that are abled to be viewed, and brining the mls summary with picture to take notes on so we can review them later.
  • Power shopping, looking at so many properties in 1 day and trying to keep track of them. Then turning around and going back to review a number of them for the second or third time.
  • I use an 85% criterion. if the house doesn't meet 85, then we scrap it and move on. then they only have to remember a couple instead of 10
  • What is your experience with Power Shopping with buyers? What are some of the challenges you have faced?

    I have power shopped with out of state clients looking to rent - it was similar to a military relocation because only one spouse was present, and we had only 2 days to get our house-hunting done and make a decision. It was EXHAUSTING, for both of us. She really wanted to be closer to the beach, but her husband needed to be closer to his place of employment, but we looked at properties in both areas. The challenges of time exist because you can't make more time. I mapped our route out to be as efficient as possible and made appointments in order. I weeded out a few properties that I knew wouldn't be a fit for them.
    I have also had to shop for clients who are overseas and wanting to purchase a home sight unseen. That presents its own set of challenges!
  • A challenge with power shopping in my area has been able to set up showings in a short period of time, and time blocking; especially when working with multiple buyers and sellers.
  • Making sure that they stay focused throughout the entire day.
  • I have worked with a number of power shoppers over the years. It requires more advance homework, and flexibility, as well as potential additional drivetime and longer hours. I have also done videos and emailed those to buyers, as well as live skype walk throughs. On a couple of occasions, buyers have written contracts sight-unseen due to time and other constraints.
  • To help keep clients on track, I have pens available to jot notes down on each listing viewed. Then throughout the day, I continue to ask what are the top 3 that you like and why- this helps keep the listings fresh and I can stay focused on their needs versus wants.
  • I have done some power shopping with a client due to his work. I will offer baby sitter services. I will have a list of homes there fits their have a route planed.
  • Power shopping means you have to be organized and preplan as much of the process as possible. Technology is an invaluable tool and easily used
  • Ditto to what Joyce Johnson said.
  • Power shopping is no problem. I set up a route to maximize time. If possible I have them ride with me, then I can tell them about the community and discuss the house we just saw.
    I have an overview of the day in spreadsheet form: house 1: address, price, sf, HOA, flood insurance etc.
    I have a packet for each house: MLS, tax records, over I ask early on there must haves and preferences: I have a check list with these and more for each house.
  • I had a family that was power shopping and the way I handled it was that I met with the military individual first since the spouse had a civilian job and not on such a time constraint. I listened, explained the process and introduced them to areas they were not familiar with that met their criteria. Showed homes that I had previously emailed them to look over, always included all family members. Always stayed in contact and made sure that all criteria was being met. Once we found the home, I assisted with negotiations which they appreciated and was always available and guiding them until I gave them the key. Process was pain free and they were very happy and thankful. They loved the home and area.
  • Keeping notes with photos sounds like a good way to keep the buyers from getting confused from one property to the next.
  • Preplanning is key. Have as much information ready to share as possible. Arrange for baby sitting in advance. Make sure you preview homes to make sure they meet the needs of the family. Communication is key. Try to make the process as efficient as possible
  • It is key to make sure you only show homes that fit into their budget and criteria. also important that you pre plan the day, giving time for each home, travel time and I bring snacks/drinks and allow time for a mid day lunch break and bathroom runs. I provide a pen and package of the homes we will see so they can take notes as they walk through or as we drive to the next home. I make sure to point out potential down falls or stumbling blocks for financing.
    challenges would be not enough inventory in our area, VA is not always offered on listings to lots of pre calling on listings to see why it was not marked as VA.
  • As a newer agent, I haven't experienced this yet. But I think offering baby sitting services for younger children would be invaluable for the parents. Also prescreening properties, for VA financing, drive time, etc...would seem to be a must when working with time constraints. Lastly I think that making sure they have the tools they need to take notes on each property would also be necessary. These 3 things would probably be the biggest time savers, ensuring a better buying experience for the clients.
  • The current market conditions in my area make just about every buyer's search a Power Shopping experience. My most recent military Power Shopping experience was just slightly more intense than usual. My buyer rode with me and we spent the time talking about areas and then just being goofy, when needed, to alleviate stress (he is a repeat Client that I know well).

    A Seller's Market is a very challenging time to purchase property, whether you're military or civilian. We made the most of the time by ending the showing if he felt the property would not work, travelling in the same car and then doing a quick check in MLSPIN to see if anything new had come on the market during the first 2 viewings.
  • Some are in a hurry to move in have paperwork ready houses lined up and away we go.
  • I haven't worked with power shoppers. It sounds like you'd need to be well prepared, focused, keep notes on each property. All comments are helpful. Preparation is key.
  • It takes time, because you are seeing 5-7 homes a day. I usually print the homes and give it to them and a pen, to keep making notes on each home we see. THis way they will remember the properties at the end of the day. I keep snacks and water in the car with me, ask them if they need to stop and take a break.
  • I have been a power shopper, making a decision in a week. Looking at 40 or 50 homes in about five days and having to make an offer by the end of a week. You have to be really ready to just walk on the no goes. If it needs a lot of work, just take a hike. If it looks like it is in good shape and is relatively turn key, it deserves some time. I have also helped people with sharing videos via my google drive. This is a lot of work, but it goes a long way to cement the relationship when it comes time for asking for a testimonial or a referral; and they will list with you when it is time to sell if you stay in touch. Follow up, and cordial relationships, realizing the tremendous pressure of a move that takes place in a compressed period is critical!!
  • I have experienced power shopping with families in a hurry and it can be a challenge. I find 8 homes in a day is best and packing snacks for the kids is a must. I encourage them to tour the city together, check out the neighborhoods and schools before we start.
    I print up buyer tour that has room for note taking and we re-visit the favorites on day 2. As a military dependent, I understand the importance of speed and having a financial officer that works well with these buyers is critical.
  • I have had clients that have had to find a home quickly but am always looking for other ideas. I would also like to say thank you to all of the great ideas posted.
  • My experience was great. I believe we looked at 15 homes over a weekend. New build and resale. on the Sunday we found the house that my buyers were able to close on. It was so gratifying to see them get the house they wanted and it was the last house of the day.

    my one challenge was trying to set the showings up based on location and time. We saw 3-4 houses in the same neighborhood and I couldn't get the listing agents to set the times within 30 minutes so spent a lot of time going back and forth to show the houses.
  • I get it David. I use the 3 P’s when doing a home search.
  • I've helped many buyers in for the weekend needing to make a quick purchase. If they are looking in serveral towns in a county I start by sending listings seperate for each town before they arrive. Narrowing down options prior to their visit has been a helpful part of the process. I always ask them to tell me what they liked about the house so I can begin to get a better idea of their taste and details. If time is short I've shown as many as 15 homes in one day but I don't advise it. Make sure you schedule time for food and restroom stops. Buyers cannot think clearly after seeing 15 homes in one day. I've done it many times so I do know. Showing 7 is a more comfortable number for everyone of possible.
  • For me power shopping meant sharing a list of homes and then letting them decide which they wanted to see. Then we went looking with one spouse to weed out properties, that although on paper looked good, they just weren't a fit for their family. after narrowing down the list even further, we brought the military member to see the top 3 that his wife chose that were all in the same area. Then they felt able to make a decision. I would ask which she liked better and why & then did the same when with both of them.
  • I had the cutest old couple for clients, just retired, cash buyers from California. I showed them 6 Homes in one day before they returned to Encino. We had time for a $120 British Tea Party at Mrs. Bridges Pantry in CT too. The offer was signed before the check came and everything else was done on computers except the closing. Easiest, fastest transaction ever. We are still friends.
  • Power shopping requires planning. An agent should make calls, set up appointments, showings, and make sure to budget time for travel and discussion in between. Keeping a list of properties and asking clients to pick their favorites and eliminate those homes that are not suitable immediately will help to narrow the field when a decision has to be made. Before a family arrives for a power shopping weekend, it may be a good idea to forward MLS information for available homes to help narrow the potential showings. Searching for specific criteria can help too, although depending on the market, this can result in still too many or too few choices.
    I tend to choose bedrooms and school district as the first criteria. This would, of course, depend on the proximity to work for the military family, and it would also depend on whether the family plans on a long term PCS and whether the family has school aged children. There are still nice properties in school districts that may not offer some families the accommodations needed for their children. These homes may appeal to single servicemen or younger families who may plan to move in a few years.
    Of course, preparation and planning are key, so I would emphasize these steps in my power shopping strategy.
  • My family has been power shopping during my husband's 20 year Naval career. Key is to be prepared: planned out itinerary of homes to look at, some type of note taking mechanism (printed MLS sheet w/ picture works great), and do not waste time when you know that a house will not work. We have been blessed enough to have a couple of great agents helping us in the past and I will use that knowledge and experience to help my clients in the future.
  • When power shopping I make sure to have a list of the homes with a picture and short description for the buyers to have during the showings. This way they can keep notes on likes and dislikes. Often the buyers are only in town for a weekend to look. I try to plan lunch mid-day to recap the morning viewings, ruling out some of the properties so at the end of the day they are not overwhelmed with so many choices. I plan a second showing the following day for the properties that make it on their short list. The key to successful power shopping is to make sure you listen to their wants and needs prior to clients coming to look at homes. That way your are prepared and not wasting their precious time.
  • Have MLS info printed out so details are available.
    An itinerary is critical. Map out the route beforehand especially if it's a rural
    area, as drive time can be difficult to determine especially if looking at multiple properties.
    People definitely know what they like and don't like,
    so you don't want to spend time on something that isn't right.
  • Get as much detail so your time is spent wisely. Understand deal breakers and priorities. Is it the perfect home or perfect timing the door to door move in. Identifying needs and not wants if time is of essence. Explain your timeline so buyers understand limitations and use common language. Agents speak in real estate lingo and that can be intimidating.
  • I make sure to have homes scheduled with longer viewings and they overlap. This allows for time to move quickly to the next property if one does not work right away. Also having back up homes that are able to be viewed on short notice, and bring the 2 copies MLS summary with picture, one for the buyer and one for me to takes notes for later review.
  • You have to impress the importance of not looking for the perfect house. If the family is potentially only going to stay for a couple of years, finding the perfect house is less important than the convenience of the neighborhood and commute to work.
  • My experience with power shoppers is that they don't linger in any place too long...unless they like it and then you can tell they've stopped looking because this is the place.
  • closing time is always a pain in the arse. the family wants to get moved in and moved in now. having to wait is a real struggle for them. showing homes that are vacant or having a lender who can close fast are an easier way for the family to power shop. not always the best, but a quick closing is what's important.
  • It gets tough and is very overwhelming. Even though it’s an almost outdated thing, I print out the specs for each property and a pen so THEY can take notes on pro’s and con’s for each home.
  • power shopping for me is somewhat the norm because I work with many military families. I have developed ways to make the most of their time like doing walkthrough videos for homes that may move quickly, but it has been difficult when the client plans a last minute house hunting trip without giving me too much notice.
  • @dawna I think one of the best ways to avoid that is by giving them the expectation of how long the closing process takes upfront during your consultation if you aren't doing so already