Any automotive sales rep can tell you stories about tire kickers. These are the people who visit the dealership just to feast their eyes on new cars. They have no intention of buying. They may ask questions and let sales reps run the numbers. They might even be so bold as to ask for a test drive. But when all is said and done, they were never going to buy anyway. Did you know that real estate has its tire kickers, too?
Tire kickers exist in every sales environment. It is just that in some environments they are less appreciated. Car sales and real estate are two such environments. Both are environments in which sales professionals get paid commission. They do not have time to waste on tire kickers.
Open House Tire Kickers
If you ever want to see the largest collection of real estate tire kickers in one place, just visit an open house. The agents at Salt Lake City’s CityHome Collective real estate brokerage say that open houses are a magnet for tire kickers. Very rarely are homes sold to people who visit open houses.
Who visits open houses? For starters, curious neighbors who just want to know what the inside of the home looks like. Open houses are also visited by people who view real estate much like flea markets. They enjoy just going and looking around. For them, it is a form of amusement.
Mortgage-Challenged Tire Kickers
Another group of real estate tire kickers are would-be buyers your average broker would consider ‘mortgage challenged’. In other words, these are people who know in the backs of their minds that their chances of actually getting a mortgage are slim to none. Still, they want to see what is out there. They hope they will miraculously run across a house they can buy for dirt cheap.
Mortgage-challenged tire kickers are not as frustrating as their open house counterparts, mainly because there are options. Potential buyers with poor credit and low income still might qualify for government-subsidized loans. They might be able to get loans from third-party lenders who specialize in high-risk opportunities.
Investor Tire Kickers
The hardest tire kickers to spot are the investors. They really have no intention of buying either, but they do want to know what local houses are going for. In many cases, investor tire kickers are house flippers. They look at other comparable houses in order to figure out the kinds of updates their current projects need.
On rare occasions, a good real estate agent might be able to sell an investor on a particular property. But that agent has to be truly skilled. Most investors are not willing to pay retail price. They usually buy off-market properties at considerably less than retail.
Don’t Be a Tire Kicker
There is a moral to every good story, right? The moral to this one is simple: don’t be a tire kicker. Remember that real estate agents work on commission. They do not get paid to show homes to people who are not serious about buying. To tire kick is to waste an agent’s time and expect them to work for free.
If you are a real estate agent, accept the fact that you always have to deal with tire kicking at some level. Take solace in the fact that your brothers and sisters in the automotive sector have to deal with the same types of customers. It is just part of being in the sales game. Perhaps karma will someday pay back everything you lost entertaining tire kickers throughout your career.