What to expect when showing your home
When a buyer is looking at a home, they appreciate the time to make it their own. In the words of one buyer:
“We were met by the sellers at the door. The sellers felt they were being helpful by showing us the home and pointing out features they thought we might otherwise miss, but we hated the experience. To this day, I vividly recall the sellers pulling out the drawers under the closet to show us the depth, a feature that made no difference to us whatsoever. We kept hoping they would go away and shut up, but they kept talking and continuing to follow us around. I could feel our real estate agent melting into the floor.”
Buyers want to be there with the agent representing them, so that they can have an honest, frank discussion, in privacy. This is whether they are simply looking at your home, or having a home inspection, looking at an open house or there at the appraisal.
If you have special features that you would like to be shown to agents and buyers, this can be covered by our Listing Storyboard that we produce for you, which contains a video, interview with you, and comments from family and friends, as well as others. These go out to agents and their buyers before they show.
Buyer agents will often choose not to show a home where a listing agent is present. Yes, really. There are areas in the USA that have the listing agent there as customary, however this is rare. Go with the local custom. The seller’s presence often makes a buyer feel uncomfortable, and more likely to leave in a hurried fashion - the last thing you want as a seller. Most often, they don't want to know about how awful the home was when you bought it, and how much you have done.
Even though Red the dog might be friendly when you are around, he may not be quite the same when you are not present. What’s more, the potential buyers may not like dogs, cats or other pets, or may be allergic to them. Have them placed in a room or crated, or better, take them with you if your schedule allows.
Most MLS schedules run 8am to 8pm. It is in your interests to allow the widest showings possible, it is designed this way so that buyers who work can see your home. They may also be traveling in from another location. Don’t make your schedule so restrictive that you put off buyers. Real estate happens more during the evening and the weekends than during the day, so these are times that are critical to have open.
Ask that buyer agents set a one hour window or less for showings. You may want 24 hour notice, however, know this will reduce showings, sometimes dramatically.
Put away personal family pictures, greeting cards and anything that personalizes your home, as much as possible. Buyers want to imagine themselves and their family enjoying the home, rather than focus on your grandchildren!
Most listing agents don’t expect you to live in a show home. However, it’s great to keep a clean and tidy home while showing, as well as:
Pull up the blinds and open the curtains as much as possible when you know there is a showing coming up. Light is a very important factor.
Turn on the lights if you know folks are coming, and a radio station (think Pandora or the like) with spa music is a nice touch.
Don’t leave dirty dishes around.
It’s a good idea not to use plug in air fresheners, many folks are allergic. Use natural oils if you need to give your home a better odor!
Flush your sinks, toilets and laundry sink with clorox once in a while, stagnant water does not smell good. Sometimes we get used to smells around us and don't notice.....
Put down your toilet lids.
Now let's go sell that home!