In 2022 there was a seller that noticed the seller survey I sent them, shared that it was the first of its kind that they encountered from previous sales they had done, and was so hesitant to work on it due to the volume of questions in comparison to the simple process with previous listing agents that they even considered using another agent if it was truly required. It's not required with me, but I highly recommend it and have done a lot of work on it to develop mine to what it is today from the original template from my company that I received years ago. In this article, I wanted to go over why seller surveys are important.
How Important are Seller Surveys?
If the listing agent is only relying on what they observe in property, previous listings, and tax records, or a very short seller survey:
1. Marketability will be reduced. I always see marketable information missing from previous listings. By adding it, I enhance searchability & maximize positive exposure. Without additional input from the seller,
2. Information could be inaccurate & lawsuits are more likely. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney.
3. The seller should spend more time making more corrections in the data input sheets themselves (which are quite long), doing so in an unorganized way since the same information could be missing from 3 separate data input sheets if you're using 3 like I do (with 3 data input sheets taking more time from the agent, but maximizing exposure on 4 MLS for the seller). If the seller would have identified the problem once in the initial seller survey, that wouldn't be necessary. Since not every data input sheet asks the same question, and since where questions are asked varies, it's important that all issues, even if repeated, are identified in the data input sheets. Due to the length of data input sheets, especially when multiple data input sheets are involved many sellers gloss over this task & aren't thorough with checking things.
How Unusual are Seller Surveys?
Seller surveys aren't a rare phenomenon. I was provided a seller survey initially by my company when I was much newer in the business. My company isn't unique with them either.
Why Longer is Better with Seller Surveys
I've expanded upon my seller survey substantially since I first received one from my company as I've noted important elements of listings and future contracts that may not be obvious from previous sales (if applicable), tax records, and pictures of the property. Those additions are meant to enhance searchability, accuracy, & exposure of positive elements of a property in marketing.
No seller survey or a short seller survey makes things easier for seller & listing agent, but at the expense of the seller's marketability, accuracy, etc.
If you're using multiple MLS, it's important to note that data input sheets, that are used to input listing information aren't all the same. Because the data input sheet ask different questions, if you're working with an agent one year with only one data input sheet, and the next year are working with the same agent who is now using 3 data input sheets, there should be more questions.