#1: Leave the House
I get it, it’s a lot of work to leave the house during a showing and it’s uncomfortable to think about people roaming through your home when you aren’t there. What’s equally uncomfortable is how a buyer feels when the seller is there watching them. The other day my client and I were greeted at the door of a property by the owner and his giant poodle who had his nails painted purple–yes, the poodle not the owner. Not only was it distracting, but they were physically blocking the doorway in the ‘oh don’t worry my dog is nice’ kind of way forcing us to wonder if we should push past and see the house or stand there and talk to the dog. As nice as I’m sure your dog is, the buyer is there to see your house, not worry about being jumped on or making you feel good.
Fact: The National Association of Realtors reports that the #1 reason a house stays on the market for a long time is the Seller being home during showings ? even if the Seller waits outside or stays in one room. That last part is worth repeating: ‘Even if the seller waits outside or stays in one room’.
Serious buyers want to tune into how they feel about your property. People buy on emotion, not facts. They have all the facts they need from the MLS. They know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have etc. What they are there to do is imagine themselves living in your home. They’ll want to take their time and not get distracted thinking about you.
The goal of every showing is to make the Buyer connect with your home and that starts with allowing them to get a good feeling.
Pro Tip: Trust us, you really don’t want to be home during a showing. Plan at least to be gone that first weekend of showings. After that-explore your town, walk your dog, go to a coffee shop, just don’t stay home.
#2: Leave The Lights On
We want to showcase your home at its best, so we will ask that you leave the lights on when you leave the house. Everybody wants to live in a bright space and nobody wants to fumble in an unknown basement for a light switch. When a buyer has multiple homes on their list of homes to see, it’s unrealistic to think their agent will be able to turn on all the lights before they get there. We want the buyers to feel great about the house upon entry and following their agent through the house as they turn on all the lights isn’t the best way to achieve this.
If you’ve left the home for the weekend, make sure to make arrangements to have the lights turned off at the end of each day, that way they can turn off the lights and make sure the house is secure. Alternatively, we can do our best to ask the last agent of the day to turn off all the lights.
#3: Be Ready for The Unexpected
Despite their best efforts, some agents will be late or miss their appointments. Sometimes it’s for a valid reason; it’s hard to predict how long someone will take to view a home, or if they will meet you on time, or if traffic will be bad and sometimes it’s just plain carelessness. Like taking a deep breath before you go to Costco on a Saturday, expect to be annoyed at some point and let it go.
Try and minimize the mess: We supply foot covers for agents and buyers to wear or ask them to remove their shoes but we can’t control what they do when they get there. Place a towel or mat by the door giving people a place to put their dirty/wet shoes.
Minimize hassles: If you don’t want a specific lock locked, or a door left open, don’t rely on agents to read their showing instructions. Place a note on the door or even better, put tape on the lock so they don’t absentmindedly lock it.
Protect your pets: Make arrangements for your pets to be gone during showings. Consider boarding them for at least that first weekend of showings. If you can’t take them with you, make sure they are crated and in the garage or basement. If your cat won’t tolerate being crated, place a note on the doors reminding everyone not to let the cat out.
It’s not fun when anything unexpected happens and for the most part, agents really do a great job of making sure they are on time and following showing instructions but please make sure to let us know if anything out of the ordinary happens right away. Most importantly: take a deep breath and remember the big picture?and that it will all soon be over.
#4: Be Flexible with Showing Times
Most showings happen outside of regular 9-5 work hours, so evenings and weekends will likely be the most common times when people will want to see your home. Restricting showing times means restricting the pool of buyers. Expect last minute ‘drive up’ showings. If I had a dollar for every time a client said ‘what about that home?’ and asked me to schedule it on the spot, well, I’d have a lot of dollars.
Fewer Buyers = a lower selling price
We recommend allowing showings between 9am to 7pm 7 days a week, (a little later in the summer and a little earlier in the winter) with as little notice required as possible. Many sellers choose to leave town for this entire showing period to allow for unfettered access and cleanliness.
Most showings are scheduled for one hour, but in reality, the average showing lasts 20 minutes. Most agents will make a one-hour appointment to see your home. This is less about them wanting to spend an actual hour in your home and more about them accounting for traffic and the other unknowns that come with seeing multiple properties in one day and gives them a little flexibility.
Keep in mind that even in this tight market, often times, yours isn’t the only house the buyers will see that day. It’s not uncommon for buyers to skip seeing a home that isn’t accommodating their schedule. Some sellers restrict showings to 30 minutes for their own convenience; while this is your choice, keep in mind that you may be unwittingly reducing the number of buyers who see your home. There’s little good that comes from rushed buyers or frustrated agents who’ve blown through red lights to make a time slot.
#5: Before Every Showing?
While your home is listed, it’s best to always leave things in top condition at all times! Before you leave, make sure to:
- Make the beds (yes, every day!)
- Clean up the kitchen ? no dishes in the sink, items on the counter
- Tidy the bathroom ? put away products, hang up towels, no clothes on the floor and what’s with hanging your bra on the door nob? Let’s reserve that for when your house is not on the market, o.k?
- Take the garbage out
- Clean the litter box
- Sweep/vacuum/wash floors. If you’re asking people to remove their shoes, make sure they aren’t stepping on crumbs
- Put away cash and any valuables
If you are thinking of selling your home and want to find out how we help you sell your home for more money, click here.
Or call us at 303.210.6156to schedule your free consultation today.