Barb Szabo's Blog: The More You Show the More You Know!

The More You Show the More You Know!

buying a home with a realtorsI have been a full time Realtor® for a long time and I have often said that the real estate market is a moving target. It's not only the market that changes but also changes to  the communities or specific developments that add to the challenge.   I have worked in the same area of Cleveland for 25 years since moving to Broadview Heights in 1990.  I can't tell you how many total homes I have shown in that time but I do average about 250-400 depending upon how many buyers I work with in the given year. That's a lot of homes and that, in and of itself, is a great learning experience and a true asset when it comes to representing a buyer on a home purchase.


Here is how I think it plays out.

The more homes you show, the more questions you ask.

The more question you ask, the more knowledge you have to pass on to buyers.

The more knowledge you have to pass on to buyers, the more likely it is that the buyers will make a home purchase based on facts more than emotion.

The more informed the decision, the more likely it is that the buyers will be pleased with their purchase.

The more pleased they are the more likely they are to refer you to family and friends.


When a Realtor® shows a lot of homes they learn things like:

There's an oil/gas well one property over.

There's a retention pond behind this home.

There are high tension wires nearby.

This home has a shared driveway.

There is an assessment of $1500 for the next 3 years for new roofs, siding, and gutters.

There's an extra $32 that you have to pay in this city for sewers.

This city has some areas with higher than average sewer bills.

There used to be a landfill not far from here.

There is a one time fee with this HOA of $500.

In this community you will pay a one time conservation fee of .0005 of the purchase price.

Although this city mostly has sewers, there are a few streets that still have septic systems.

There are some protected wetlands in this area whom no one is allowed to touch

This area is for those 55 and older

In this development you are not permitted sheds or fences

If you are going to buy a condo, you must make it contingent upon the review of all the documents including all the financial statements.


I'm not saying I know everything about a particular city but I know a lot and I like to share that knowledge with buyers to help them make an informed decision.


What are some of the things you know in your area that might not be that obvious to a buyer??









Visit Barb's Facebook Fan Page - Become a Fan! View Barb's Profile on Linkedin! Follow Barb on Twitter Barb Szabo E-pro Realtor Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity): Real Estate Agent in Cleveland, OH

If you would like to buy or sell a home in the southern communities of Cleveland Ohio, please call me at 440-263-7496, or you may want to visit my website for more specific information on the communities I service: Brecksville Ohio Real Estate, Broadview Heights Ohio Real Estate, North Royalton Ohio Real Estate Independence Ohio Real Estate, Seven Hills Ohio Real Estate, Parma Ohio Real EstateParma Heights Ohio Real Estate and Middleburg Heights Ohio Real Estate.  Information is obtained from Neohrex (Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange) and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Properties subject to prior sale, rental, or other status changes. All properties that are advertised as being listed or sold by Barb Szabo are in conjuntion with ReMax Trinity.

Comment balloon 61 commentsBarb Szabo, CRS • October 20 2015 06:05AM


Excellent post Barb!   I couldn't agree with you more.  And the more you show, the more you sell and the more home inspections you attend (or, at least I attend them with my buyer clients).  I learn from this too!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 4 years ago

Thanks Carla, yes when you add in the home inspections we attend the learning continues!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

It does irk me when out-of-area agents sell homes in places they are not familiar.  All of your examples are perfectly normal to happen but if the buyer is unaware, then that is a huge potential problem.  

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Very true, that is why even though I have a team I still get out there and learn, it is the single best way to learn and improve your business. Have a great week!

Posted by Stefan Winter, Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech (Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger) over 4 years ago

Exactly Margaret! That is why I try very hard to stay within my knowledge base. If I don't know an area I will refer the lead.

Well said Stefan!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

Great post! For certain the more you show the more you know.  Since I have been in real estate (approx 6 years now), many agents profess to wanting to be "listing agents".  It always makes me laugh because the reality of that being all you do as an agent is right up there with the dream of sitting on a beach collecting money while others work to get you money.  :)  Neither are good long term strategies that will last.  I could go on...  Ha!  But, I won't. :)

Posted by Ken Patterson, Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor (TPR Properties) over 4 years ago

Great post, and you so right about gaining knowledge each time you show a property.  This knowledge gained and shared with clients helps differentiate one agent from another and demonstrates your commitment to finding the buyer the right house!

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) over 4 years ago

Ken, I happen to agree with you and what better way to know the inventory and the community than by seeing a lot of homes?

Exactly Shirley and if we are truly representing a buyer then we should let them know the facts about what and where they are buying.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

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Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... ( over 4 years ago

I couldn't agree more!  I think buyer's agents have a leg up on the competition because if you don't get out there, you don't know what's going on!  Nice post!

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) over 4 years ago

Barb, you are so right!! This business is NOT about sitting behind a desk and collecting money. There is work involved and that includes in a large part knowing your market. The more homes you view, the more people you talk with, the more vendors you interact with, the better you are at representing the consumer.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA over 4 years ago

Barb!  Awesome read and reminder! Real Estate 101!


Get out press flesh and know your market!



Posted by L. Scott Ferguson, Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional (Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate) over 4 years ago

FRancine, I do think there is an advantage when you show a lot of homes and frankly it is beneficial to buyers and sellers!

John, I got into this business because I didn't want to sit behind a desk:)

Scott, How else but to get inside. I still tour homes on Tuesday mornings for that very reason.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

Fabulous post! I took this to heart as a newbie...previewing homes to learn about my market.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 4 years ago

You should post this in the contest that Pat Kennedy is running this month about advice for newbies

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 4 years ago

I was about to say the same thing Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner :)  Congratulations on the feature Barb Szabo, CRS 

Posted by Vera Gonzalez, Gonzo For Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Congratulations on being featured, Barb.  Great post!

Posted by Mark Piscitelli & Theresa Ziebro (Remax Trinity) over 4 years ago

The more you can inform a buyer of a property the more trust you will gain and respect.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 4 years ago

Karen, the way I see it you can never have too many homes in your arsenal! Thanks for the suggetstion on Pat Kennedy's contest!

Thanks Vera!

Thanks Mark:)

Thanks for stopping by William...true words!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

yes, seeing lots of homes in person is a large part of knowing the market. We have very active brokers tour out here - I'm amazed at those who rarely if ever go on tour, as I always am in learning mode. Great post.

Posted by will bateson (Sidewalk Homes) over 4 years ago

Thanks Will! There does seem to be an attitude among some agents that there is no need to tour as they can see the home on line but there is no comparison to seeing it in person.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 4 years ago

We have lots and lots of manufacturing in our County plus one of the largest Train Yards in the country.  We have brownfields we deal with and compact fees to pay for the sewer piping put in years ago.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 4 years ago

A very informative post - it is true the more we show homes, the more we learn.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

Yes, this is so true -- the more homes we see, the more we know about any given area.

There was a house on our office tour one week and I couldn't picture the street in my mind -- when we got there, I realized there was a high-end development I'd never seen/heard of before. Of course, with an area that covers about 800 square miles, that's not really that surprising - - except this specific street was only a few miles from my office. Now I can suggest it to the right clients!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

Great blog on knowing your local inventory by showing many homes:

Showing a lot of homes is a great learning experience and a true asset when it comes to representing a buyer on a home purchase

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) over 4 years ago

Absolutely, the more you know about your market, the more you can help your clients make educated decisions.  Great post Barb.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 4 years ago

Barb Szabo, CRS The more you show the more you know - agreed.  It's always ultimately the Buyer's responsibility to do their "due diligence" before pulling the trigger.

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 4 years ago

Oh, boy! Did you just trigger a blog post in me! There is a lot to know about any given city and the knowledge to share with your buyers is invaluable.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 4 years ago

When I share that there is a tremendous amount of wildlife people go to awe

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Showing homes is the fun part of our job. It's not just about floor-plans and upgrades. It's about learning communities, neighborhood amenities, HOA fees, and any number of things that will impact a buyers decision to purchase. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty (Zion Realty) over 4 years ago

Congratulations on your well deserved featured post. Knowledge is usually only gained through experience. That is why it is so important for clients to select local agents who are truly familiar with the neighborhood.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) over 4 years ago

Barb, this speaks to the notion of always letting others run your open houses. Open houses are a valuable opportunity to continue to learn, so it's important that we don't get lazy!

Posted by Gwen Banta (Sotheby's International Realty) about 4 years ago

Barb, great post. What recommendations would you have for brand new agents, without the kind of volume you have, to get to know the area and the particulars about area neighborhoods?

Posted by Peggy Bunting (Home Solutions Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

This is good advice for any agent. I always learn when I'm out showing or previewing homes. It's the little details we can share with buyers that can help them in their home buying decision. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 4 years ago

What are some of the things you know in your area that might not be that obvious to a buyer??

 in a word, Superfund sites.  No explanation needed, lol!

Posted by Christine Gerbehy, Making waves, one home at a time... (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield) about 4 years ago

Barb Szabo, CRS there is so much to learn from every home we show.

And more we show, more we learn about the neighborhood - always helps. Always.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 4 years ago

Evelyn...I don't even know what brownfield are??

Thanks Joan!

Hi Kat, A great example of getting out there and seeing the inventory!

Thanks Sham!

Thanks Roger...I imagine the say is true for your work!

Very true Tony!

I'm glad Pat! When you write it send me the link:)

Richie, a great way to discover a client's "hot button"

Ron, how cool. Parmatown Malll is going through another trnaformation. They have made it look a lot more upscale and it's now known as The Shoppes at Parma. Thanks for the tip on the title. Do I change the title or did you just mean the tag line at the bottom of the post?

Nicole, agreed. what's the old saying? "Knowledge is power."

Les and Sarah, thank you!

Gwen, words of wisdom!

Peggy, great question! When I started blogging in 2008 I did so to increase my volume. In order to write some great community blogs I went to a lot of businesses, took pics, and interviewed the owners. It was such a great experience because I got to know the business owners and they got a little plug on my blog.

Another great source of community info would be the city website. I love to know what's going on and that's a great way to find out.

You can also set up google alerts for the communities that interest you and find out very quickly what the latest events are. (Write about these events on your blog and your community knowledge will become stronger.)

As for getting to know the housing inventory see as many homes as you can on your tour day. If you don't have a tour day then schedule appts to preview homes. Given enough notice it should not be a problem for any seller.

Good luck!


Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 4 years ago

Great post.  I'm never surprised at what I learn when either showing or visiting houses. 

Posted by Sandra Thomas (Re/Max Achievers) about 4 years ago

Barb Szabo, CRS  Perhaps pets are not welcome .. This is one of the reasons I like to stay local .  There are so many mistakes we can make if we go too far out of our area of expertise . I was just telling an Impact group I joined about this . Well deserved Feature and wonderful points

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 4 years ago

That's one reason I don't work exclusively with sellers--when I show property to buyers I get an entire education about what buyers are looking for, what's on the market, how it's being priced, etc. This is invaluable information to pass on to one's seller clients. I tell new agents who might not have a lot of people to show property to that they need to go out and preview, preview, preview to education themselves.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 4 years ago

You are absolutely correct.  I try never to turn down an opportunity to show a home.  You can learn so much.    It's also nice when the listing agent is there to provide all kinds of extra information about the area.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) about 4 years ago

Glad I live in an area where I don't have to deal with over 55 communities. Certainly lots of rules. Local knowledge is great.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) about 4 years ago

Part of what makes me such a prolific listing agent is that I  spend 25% of my time working with buyers.  I KNOW  my market! I am not just doing arm chair market analysis.

Posted by Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI, #11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World (Century 21 Town and Country) about 4 years ago

Well all offer alot & showing is the best way to get to know the neighborhood. That's why I shake my head with newbies who never go on tour or preview - how do you get to know your inventory? The plusses & minuses of each town & area?

Great post Barb.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 4 years ago

Such a spot on post.  You gotta be out there in order to know your stuff.

Posted by Paula McDonald ~ GRI, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 4 years ago

Very well said...knowledge is power.  Sometimes we know more about the property than the listing agent.


Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 4 years ago

Success in real estate really depends upon your willingness to keep learning - whether it's about the neighborhoods, individual homes, real estate regulations, new laws in Washington that will affect buyers and sellers, changes to the forms you use, or simple human psychology. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 4 years ago

I've never heard that phrase before but I agree!  You learn so much via showing, especially in the neighborhoods where the houses aren't cookie cutter.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 4 years ago

Barb, I think it is more important to know which questions to ask than to have answers on the tip of your tongue.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 4 years ago

What I learn from showing properties is what my buyers react to positively and negatively. That's because I'm not looking at the property. I'm watching them. Buyers' faces teach you what those buyers truly want but can't articulate.  It's the offers and the progress of the transactions that teach you the most about various properties/neighborhoods, in my experience.  

Posted by Teri Buchanan, Seniors Real Estate Specialist in Napa Valley (Level Up Realty) about 4 years ago

Barb, great article.  It's unbelieveable the amount of information we gather when we show homes.  When possible, it is better to preview homes before showing them to our buyers. You see homes that show really well, and those that need some little tlc to show better. You see signs that are so small that the neighbors don't even know the home is on the market. You see homes in the same subdivision that have different floor plans - in some cases you wonder why the same builder "wasted" space having a larger than life family room, but a teeny-weeny kitchen. 

Posted by Thessy Onyenedum (Atesa Properties, Inc) about 4 years ago

Sandra, neither am I!

Hannah, not too long ago I heard from an agent that she took helped buyers and sellers within a one hour radius of her office...that is not for me.

Nina, so true! 

Tim, I feel the say way. Sometimes a buyer will apologize to me for wasting my time and I tell them, "Please don't as it's never a waste of my time to see another home.

Bill, there must be other concerns in your area?

Nancy, I can see where one might be an exclusive buyer's agent but not an exclusive seller's agent.

Lyn, you have been doing this a while just like me and I do see many of the younger agents thinking that tour is not necessary because they can see the home on line. But, in my humble opinion, there is no comparison to actually seeing a home.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 4 years ago

I agree, showings it is some sort of practicing and learning. The best thing that you are in the field with potential buyers, meeting agents, learing about neighborhoods. What not to love?

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) about 4 years ago

The more we work the more we know. Arriving early for showings and talking with neighbors is invaluable.  Every listing we take is an opportunity to visit with neighbors and learn a great deal about the neighborhood.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 4 years ago

Agree totally!  Learning is an ongoing process and you get to know so many things before, during and after showings ... I like the catchy title!

Posted by Mihir Gandhi, Real Estate in Placentia - North O.C. CA (First Team Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Everyday is about learning...and sharing that information. Good post!

Posted by DALIA KIBBY, Selling Broward County Homes with Passion! (Sellstate Partners Realty) about 4 years ago

Hi Barb Great post filled with the knowledge you have acquired over the years in this business. From the time that we had owned our own business we always went to view the properties before showing them. This in my opinion is a must.Seeing a home on line is and never will be enough. Thank you again for a super post.

Posted by Gail Petrowsky, House flipper and life coach (Gail Petrowsky, Inc) about 4 years ago

Dear Barb,

Gotta work it to earn it.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) about 4 years ago

Thanks to all for your comments and dialogue!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 4 years ago

Hey Barb, I love your title - it really says it all!  And thanks so much for taking part in the October Challenge. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 4 years ago

There are a lot of intangibles you can learn from actually seeing a home.  Plus it just keeps us up on how the market is trending. 

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 4 years ago

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