Seattle Residential: I Do That: The Other Kind of Door Knocking

The Other Kind of Door Knocking

The Other Kind of Door Knocking

In This Post

If Realtors should or shouldn't knock on doors, who should?


There have been some featured posts in the past few days concerning door knockers. Does door knocking open new doors for Realtors looking for business in neighborhoods new to them, or even where they live make sense? Is it a bad practice. Greg Nino is strongly against it in his post Door Knocking For Business Is Dangerous, Desperate & Borderline Pathetic...
and there have been several comments supporting his view point.

In his post Greg refers to a featured post and I think it was the one by Durrell Thomas entitled For Door Safe to knock or notKnocking, This Works Like Crazy. Durell provided a script which he uses and several commentators have agreed with him that door knocking is probably an effective tool. Both posts have in the neighborhood of 70 comments and I'm not keeping score, but am interested in the dialogue.

I learned years ago from a young woman who, with me as her agent, liked a home in a neighborhood she didn't know well, but she liked the house enough to make an offer. There were multiple offers on many homes at the time and she wrote an aggressive offer, but asked me to hold on to it until she did her version of a neighborhood review. Offers were to be presented the following day and I took my turn. We were $5K less than the highest offer, but the seller said "I have to take this one." My client had gone out and knocked on every door in the neighborhood and introduced herself. She told the people who answered that she wanted to buy that house but first she wanted to know who lived around it and what they were like. The seller said he had to take it because the neighbors told him that they wanted that woman to be a part of the neighborhood.

Whatever your reasons are for door knocking or not, go ahead. But the best way for a buyer to know a neighborhood is to become a part of it without relying entirely on what the listing or selling agent says, or what police reports or blogs say.





Glenn Roberts



Comment balloon 29 commentsGlenn Roberts • September 30 2010 09:58AM


Glenn.....I have used your  "post"story in real life. I always knock on doors to get information and I am never disappointed.....Whether it is to purchase, to find out values, data, or establish works...I commented on another post that I do not solicit business that way. The exception being that developers would ask me make offers to assemble parcels to begin a subdivision project. Good post & thanks...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 10 years ago

Glenn, Sounds like the door-knocking paid off for this buyer!! I have talked with neighbors before as my buyer was observing the prospective home from the outside. It does give you a feel for who your neighbors might be...and also can provide you with some info on the sellers as well (like why they are moving...).   

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) about 10 years ago

HA!  This is a new and dramatic form of negotiating. 

I love it. 

I have sold homes where the sellers selected my buyers "because they like them" or "they'll take good care of my home".

Never because the neighbors like the prospective buyer.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 10 years ago

This is a very interesting twist on door knocking! I am also glad to hear that the fellow taking the offer cared enough about his neighbors to take less money for his home, tells a lot about the neighborhood!

Posted by Melissa McKinney, Realtor, (McKinney Realty Group) about 10 years ago

Glenn, with the right buyer I could see this having the opposite effect on the neighbors :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Richie - The best information about the hood is right in the hood.

Sonja - Another couple liked the idea and tried it and the people directly across the street said, "We don't know them, we've only lived here seven years." The buyers didn't choose that neighborhood.

Lenn - It turned out to be a fun and close-knit neighborhood and the seller wasn't moving far.

Melissa - A gem of a neighborhood I had known little about before that.

Charles - And that would be good to know up front.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

That Buyers approach seems very unique, but also very practical.

Posted by Jon Budish (Resident Realty) about 10 years ago

Interesting concept but I like it...............when I moved into a neighborhood in Astoria, Queens, I didn't knock on doors before I rented, but I did walk the neighborhood, talk to people on the street, local merchants..........just to get a feel for the neighborhood and the people in it..........same concept I would think.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 10 years ago

Jon - It taught me, at least, to suggest it. If your not comfortable knocking on a neighbors door, would you want to live there?

Roger - Getting the lay of the land is part of a good investigation.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn, I have knocked on doors to get to know a neighbor hood better, and I have had clients do the same..most people are friendly and open and honest.

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) about 10 years ago

Gerry - And that's how you know you've found a good neighborhood.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

What an awesome and productive strategy for the buyer.  This is a totally new one for me.

Posted by Kristen Wheatley, Supporting Success - Best Job in the World! (Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group) about 10 years ago

Kristen - and it wasn't even a strategy. She wanted to know who the neighbors were before she bought a house.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn, We've often recommended to our buyers to knock and talk to the neighbors prior to proceeding.  It's a great way to decide if everything together will work!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 about 10 years ago

Liz and Bill - If everyone did that we'd have friendlier neighborhoods.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn:  Excellent post!  Very thought provoking.  I've heard both schools of thought via seminars and I must say, I always find myself leaning in favor of this type of "door knocking"!  Had to push that button!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 10 years ago

Tish -  I agree with the many who know people are tired of solicitors on the phone and at the door, but everyone likes to meet the new neighbor.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

I have never been a door knocker myself, but I have known several people who were very successful at it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

I've never been a door-knocker myself, but several people in my community have been extremely successfuly with that tactic.  It's been on my "to-do" list for about 40 years.  LOL.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

JL - It takes a certain personality and a warm smile, I think. Something I lack.

Margaret - Since you could walk?

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Hi Glen,

What a great story!

I did a lot of door knocking back in the 80's.

Not so much now


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) about 10 years ago

Interesting story Glen. It certainly helped her seal the deal in this situation!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 10 years ago

Phil - Times have changed since the 80's, some for better and some not.

Bill - worked like a charm, but she was charming.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Gathering information, connecting, networking does not just happen between brokers, agents, or thru the mls, on line. Take it to the top level. One on one. Surf the neighborhoods, meet the people, give your career in real estate a boot in the butt. Shot in the arm.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 10 years ago

Andrew - The people are key.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago


I don't cold knock.  :)

This is a good story and that lady wanted that house.  I admire someone that goes after what they want. 

I've had a client kind of do a similar thing.  She was a buyer that and already knew the neighbor to the home for sale so she went to see her friend and told them that she wanted to buy the house next to them.  It worked because they were also friends with their neighbor who was the seller.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 10 years ago

Judi - I think people are starting to get starved for real personal contact and more of this kind of thing will prove successful.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago
My father is a crmieocmal real estate broker and he has definetly made a very successful living off of it. I dont know exactly how much comission he makes, but I have heard he has made 4 million before on one building, I dont know if that is the highest he has made on one building though. He has sold 70 million dollar buildings before. It definetly makes you much more than residential real estate. And the market doesnt get bad for crmieocmal. It is a better market and a smarter choice.
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