The term Lookie Loo (also Looky Loo, Looky Lou, and Lookie Lou) was coined many years ago to describe people who love to look at real estate without any intention of buying it. This expression has the same meaning as tire kicker and window-shopper.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with browsing or looking at something for one’s own enjoyment. What is wrong is giving someone else an impression, either directly or indirectly, that you are a serious buyer when you are merely browsing. Why is that?
Professional Services Cost Money
In real estate, whenever you ask a real estate agent to provide you with a professional service such as showing you some of the best homes for sale in Comox or showing you the local area, it begins to cost them time and money. The vast majority of real estate agents are only paid for their services when they complete a home purchase or sale for their clients. Until they are paid, it costs them their own time and money each and every day to stay in business (their fixed business costs) and to provide people with real estate services (their variable business costs). Like many different types of small businesses, these business costs can easily run into thousands of dollars each and every month.
Serious or Not
People who are serious buyers rely on real estate agents for a wide spectrum of real estate services. Agents who are competent and proficient can provide great service to people and in turn help them reduce the stresses associated with buying a home. They can also save home buyers time and money. When someone who is not a serious buyer engages a real estate agents and occupies their time, there is a cost to the agent and to the other people who really do need the services. Great agents are appreciated by serious buyers. People who are not serious buyers can still get the enjoyment of looking at homes by attending open houses and show homes.
Cost to the Seller
Besides the adverse impact on the real estate agent and their buyers, think about the cost to the person who is allowing their private residence to be shown to people who have no intention of buying it. People who are proud of their homes will take time to clean and prepare it for showings. Most sellers do not want people coming through their private abode who are not serious buyers. If your home was for sale would you want people coming through your private residence without having any real intention of buying it?
Most people do not like other people wasting their time. They especially do not like other people costing them money if there is no money to be made in return for services provided. Please think twice before asking a real estate agent to show you an area or homes because “you are thinking of moving there”. Be forthright with your intentions. If you are not serious say so. Good real estate agents will still be able to help you in ways that do not cost them much time and money. When you become serious you will be glad that you have a competent realtor willing to help you buy or sell your next home, and in doing so, saving you time, stress and money.