It doesn’t matter how easy it is to provide feedback through technology now — some buyer’s agents are just not going to do it. There isn’t any point in making a big deal out of it. Here’s why.

Technology has made it so much easier for listing agents to request feedback from buyer’s agents. Instead of having to call or email agents after they have toured a home for sale with a buyer, the process can be automated. Feedback requests can be automatically sent after each showing.

It is easy to send the homeowners a report with feedback about the home when there is feedback. This is now all a part of our MLS and our “listing technology.” Automating feedback requests is a huge time-saver, and it cuts down on all those phone calls we used to get at the worst times.

However, that doesn’t mean that we are getting more feedback or getting it any faster than we got it back in the days of the phone calls and pink message slips. It just means that instead of expending a lot of effort to get no feedback whatsoever, we can expend almost no energy and not get feedback.

It seems like a win-win. Technology saves the day, yet there are agents who get very upset when they don’t get feedback.

It doesn’t matter how easy it is to provide feedback or how well the app works — some buyer’s agents are just not going to do it. There isn’t any point in making a big deal out of it. Ask for feedback once, and then move on.

Many agents set the expectation when listing a house by telling sellers that they will get feedback about the property from the buyers who tour it. They make promises that they can’t deliver on. They set themselves up for failure when the seller constantly asks them for feedback and believe that it is a critical part of the home sale process.

We need to do a better job educating homesellers and recalibrate their expectations of buyers and their agents.

How useful is it to know if the buyer thinks the home is a “three” or a “four” as compared with other homes seen that day? We don’t even know which houses they toured, how many or where they are located.

I have heard agents say that if the seller is going all out and letting people tour the house, those buyers and their agents “owe” the seller feedback. I don’t see it that way at all. The seller is allowing people to see the house as part of a process that will result in a buyer offering to buy the house.

Agents who are representing the buyer don’t owe the seller anything, and they might not even want to give detailed feedback about pricing or opinions about the condition of the property. They owe their own client confidentiality and should probably ask permission before they share anything that a client says about the property.

Commenting on the price of a home when representing the buyer seems so wrong, but the question is always on the feedback forms. Buyer’s agents should just go ahead and skip that question.

If the buyer’s agent gives feedback that the seller doesn’t like, it can hurt the buyer’s chance of getting an offer accepted. Sometimes, a seller will dislike a particular buyer based on something in the showing feedback, without even knowing for sure if the remark came from the buyers or their agent. I’ve seen this happen before.

There are times when the best feedback a buyer’s agent can give to keep everyone happy is that the house is very nice, but it isn’t right for this particular buyer. That statement seems to fulfill the feedback obligation without really saying anything.

Sometimes, sellers will ignore the feedback they get from their own agent and ask that agent to get feedback from other agents. Personally, I have never understood the value of getting opinions from several agents about a property — especially without knowing where those agents work and what their experience level is.

When a house is on the market, the most important feedback the seller can get is one or more offers.

If seller’s agents would just let their clients know that not all buyer’s agents will give feedback and not to expect it after each showing, we will all look better in the eyes of the consumer.

Agents who are representing buyers are not required to give feedback to sellers or to their agents. Every time an agent makes a big deal about not getting feedback from another agent, we all look bad.

So, really, I have no tips other than — don’t worry about the feedback.

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.

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