Very soon after your home shows up for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other real estate agents will expect to be able to show your home. The agent will call the showing service to schedule the showing and receive any special instructions. In most cases they will call you directly to make an appointment to show the home. Showings are usually scheduled several hours in advance or even days in advance and normally they will schedule for a 2 hour time frame. This window allows the agents to have some wiggle room when showing multiple homes to buyers. It is often very hard to estimate how much time a buyer will spend at a home so flexibility in showing times is necessary. Be prepared, however, for the agent that may call only an hour before showing or they may be in the neighborhood looking at another home and want to see yours at the spur of the moment. The more flexibility you have, the better.
Can I turn down a showing?
Of course – it’s your home and you have a right to privacy. HOWEVER, please understand what the consequences may be if you do.
Typically, a buyers agent will schedule 3-5 homes on one day for a buyer to look at and set up a schedule based on those locations. If you decline a showing, the buyers agent may not ever reschedule it. Most times, the buyers will just move on to another home, especially if they are out of town buyers and only have one day to look at homes. You could risk a serious buyer so please be ready at all times to show your home.
What to do before the showing:
Tidy up and LEAVE!! Many sellers understandably believe that because they know and love their home, they can best sell it to potential buyers. However, in reality, most buyers and their agents are uncomfortable looking at a home when the owner is there. They will tend to take a quick look through the home and then leave without really getting a personal connection to the home.
When I am acting as Buyers Agents with my clients, I cringe when I realize that the owner is home and intends to show us the house himself.
How tidy does the home need to be?
I know how difficult keeping a perfectly clean house at all time can be and if your home has been on the market for any amount of time, you tend to get tired of the “hurry up and clean” routine. The best attack is to pick up as much as possible in the mornings and keep the home as de- personalized as possible. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in your home, which is difficult if it is messy, crowded or overly personal.
Strive for an odor free environment. Smell has enormous impact on buyers, even “pleasant” smells such as potpourri or baking bread may evoke negative feelings for some. Almost all buyers react negatively to pet smells, smoke and incense.
- Do not leave food cooking during showings – dinner is highly personal and will make buyers feel that they’re intruding on your privacy.
- While you’re on the market, try to prepare meals that don’t produce strong odors.
- Make sure your refrigerator is clean and smells fresh because buyers will tend to open it out of habit.
- Make sure you clean out any cat litter boxes. Cat odors can be a strong deterrent to sale. Freshen up dog beds and kennels to make sure there are no strong smells coming from them.
A last look around as you leave each day…
- Make all beds
- Wash dishes
- Put away dirty (and clean) clothes
- Clean the sinks and mirrors
- Straighten newspapers
- Turn on lights
- Close toilet lids
Yes, it is inconvenient, but clean, tidy homes sell at higher prices, period. Isn’t it worth the extra effort?
Sometimes we will call you to schedule an “agent preview”. This means that an agent will come alone to your home (with no buyer) for a quick run through. There are three reasons agents preview:
1. They have busy buyers who want their agent to screen all properties before showing,
2. They specialize in your area and like to keep up on the market,
3. They have a new listing coming up and are checking out the competition.
The same guidelines for tidiness apply during previews, but it’s not really necessary to leave.
Previewing agents are usually just trying to get a feel for the home, so will probably just breeze through quickly. Don’t be offended or concerned if they are only in your home a few minutes.
After the showings:
Once you return home, you will usually find a business card from the agent to indicate they actually did show up, but not always. In most cases, agents will then provide feedback to the showing service within 24 to 48 hours and let you know what their buyers thought of your home. If you do not hear anything, ask your agent to call and follow up.
Most buyers that are interested in putting in an offer on your home will normally schedule a second showing to come out and really take a thorough look at all aspects of your home to make sure they did not miss anything. This showing is even more critical as this is a very SERIOUS buyer! Please have your home in tip top shape for these buyers. Hopefully, you will have an offer shortly after they leave!
Other titles in the seller series:
Article #1: Seller Questions Answered – A preview to Listing your home for Sale
Article #2: What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Article #3: Why do I need an Real Estate agent and how do I select one?
Article #4: I have signed the paperwork, now what? -What to expect during the listing period
Article #5: A buyer wants to see my home -How can I maximize showing opportunities?
Article #6: I have received an offer – now what?
Article #7: My home is under contract – What are the next steps?
Article #8: What can I do to prepare for my move?
Article #9: What can I expect at the closing table?
Article #10: What happens after my home is SOLD?
Sonya Leonard –Keller Williams Realty – Mooresville NC. The Home Style Team provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area. Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for instant alerts to help find your dream home. Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588.