Please be so kind as to exit your home before showing…
First rule of showing your home to buyers… DON’T. What I mean here is YOU don’t. Everyone talks about all the things you need to do to prep your house, the cleaning, repairing, staging, de-cluttering but if you are on the property when the buyers are there to look at the house is all a waste. For the first visit I can not think of a good reason for the seller to be there. Real estate buyers will never feel comfortable looking at your house if you are there, and by there I mean anywhere in sight, including attic, driveway, other side of the yard, etc.
Give them the freedom to nose around, to express their opinions, to contemplate, to picture themselves living there, sitting in there, I mean YOUR favorite chair!
If you’re concerned about your privacy then you don’t have your home staged properly for sale. As for security, your agent should have already coached you on taking valuables out of the house plus this is yet another reason you should consider a full service listing and allow only buyers that are accompanied by a professional real estate agent.
“But what about the details? All the little things I did to make my house so dog gone special?” Home buyers don’t care, at least on the first visit. None of those things matter unless they like the overall house. In fact, you will be distracting them from the bigger picture!
“We just put in carpet, granite counters, new windows. I have to be there at least in the beginning to point that out.” First, refer to my last statement, if they don’t at least like your home in general those things don’t matter. Plus they will figure those things out, seriously, they are not going to miss your major upgrade and just in case, their buyer’s agent / Realtor won’t either.
“I wired the whole house for sound and cat5 for internet goes into every room and we even have outdoor speakers. We added low flow faucets and get this, 1/4 turn water shut off valves.” Again, see the first statement. “No one will know to look for those things, they are little but so cool. I will need to point them out because the buyer and agent won’t think to point them out.” I know these things matter to you or you would not have done them but 2 points here. Either they don’t care, at all, and will stuff those extra wires back into the wall and never hook up the outdoor speakers or if they care, they will do this for any house they buy and the fact that your has it won’t sway their decision.
It’s a fact, buyers spend less, a lot less, time looking at a property that has someone there. This includes the teenager, house guests, anyone that is not in the showing party. You greatly impact the chance of getting a buyer prospect hooked on your house if you are there. You also will be alienating the agents bringing the buyers. Believe me, they talk and you don’t want to be one of “those” listings.
Make this process easy, pack a getaway bag and have it by the door or in the car. A couple of magazines, a good book, a pair of reading glasses, your phone charger, your walking shoes, a shopping list, whatever will make good use of your time for 30 – 90 minutes.
Don’t forget to strategically position your getaway car! If the buyers or agent arrive before you leave you may be blocked and cause an awkward shuffling of cars.
If you do get caught at the house, do NOT engage the buyers or the agent in conversation. I LOVE to catch buyers at a house because I can get them to spill the beans on all sorts of things to help us negotiate. Don’t risk it, I have ways of making you talk and it will cost you if my buyer makes an offer. Be respectful but slip away quickly, pretend to be on the phone if you have to!
If it’s a weekend always be ready for a showing even if none are scheduled. Your house is for sale and it’s just something you have to deal with. Try to never deny a showing scheduled in advance or a last minute weekend showing. The agent calling from their car out in front of your house may have YOUR buyer in the back seat!
PLEASE… Exit gracefully and don’t be at your property when a showing is taking place.
Tom Schroth, is a career agent with over 20 years helping people buy and sell their homes and has owned over a dozen homes personally including rentals, investment properties, flips and rehabs. He practices what he preaches by making real estate not just a place you call home but a wealth building investment. Tom runs the Schroth Realty Group, schrothrealtygroup.com, a team of professionals dedicated to providing real estate buyers and sellers in the metro Atlanta area an exceptional experience. His resume included hundreds of real estate transactions, a broker’s license in both Georgia and Ohio, founding a real estate company, and managing and office of one of the largest real estate networks in Atlanta. Tom Schroth also runs Whiteboard Group, a business development consultancy and coaches business owners and individuals to help them get clear on their goals and take steps to achieve them and “Perform at Their Highest Level” see: wboardgroup.com and Tom’s other blog, “Business Yoda” businessyoda.com.
Do you have house to sell? Are looking to purchase real estate? Contact Tom’s team at 888-724-7864