A while ago I was listening to a TV broadcast and the person suggested that owners should stay when their home was being shown. I'm sure there was a collective gasp heard around the US from other Realtors®. On more than one occassion I've been in a home when a seller was home and it made my buyer's run for the door. Buyers need to be able to see and evaluate the property at their own speed.
5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown
In some real estate markets, having the seller or the listing agent present is the norm. It is not the norm in the Central Coast real estate market, and if the seller or the listing agent is present for a showing it can detract greatly from viewing the home. This is especially the case in today's real estate market where more than likely your competition is a vacant home that the buyer can linger in freely for as long as they desire. So, if the buyer has to look at you while they are looking at your house, your home may stand out for the wrong reasons. The following are 5 reasons why you and your agent should not be present when your home is shown:
1. There is an art to showing houses. When working as a buyer's agent, I have my own style of showing houses that is, in part, designed to help clients remember the houses they see. I know you think no one could forget your house, but trust me after the fourth house most people get a little foggy, especially once we've narrowed down the type of house they like. We are then usually looking at a bunch of pretty similar houses. I know where I want to start and where I want to finish so that that particular client can remember the things that are important to them about a home. But, because you are standing in the family room on the phone, I have to hit the hallway first. Then, your honey thinks the dumb REALTOR® missed something, calls out loudly, and leads my clients into the garage. Now, the first memory my client has of your home is the dark, cold, dusty garage. Chances are if I want to get them to remember your home later on, I now have to bring up the water heater insulation - which is not exactly what you thought they'd remember, right? You may already suspect, and you are indeed right -- water heater insulation doesn't sell houses.
2. You don't know what they like. It's a very natural inclination to jump in when a question is asked or to point out something about YOUR home that the agent seems to have missed. That's why you don't need to be there. You probably won't be able to resist. And, you can't say or do the wrong thing if you're not there right? Now it isn't always possible for people to leave for showings, and I know that. So, you should at a minimum step out the home if possible or contain yourself to one very small pre-determined area, and most important be silent (No helping!). Why? Well, you are excitedly pointing out the fresh faux paint in the living room and my client just went on a 10 minute diatribe about the overproliferation of faux painting at the house we saw right before this one. I can point out things to them that I know they like and make sure they don't miss them. You are making sure the last thing they notice about your home is something they hate.
3. I can handle the basics. I'd probably be able to discern that the range is electric when my client asks so I don't need you there to answer that question. And, those heating vents probably mean a forced air furnace - I get that. It's also in the listing sheet in my hand. If the buyer does ask a question I can't answer, I am quite capable of writing it down and calling about it later. And, now with the advent of texting, I can even text your agent and have the answer on the spot before we walk out of the house. Now, if you don't believe that I am capable of locking up your home, (and you may have good reason if getting in and out is equivalent to solving a Rubik's Cube), you can wait in your car around the corner and when I have taken my best stab at it, I will call you and you can zip around the corner and double check me. But, for the most part, I've got this covered.
4. We can't say anything. Recently, I had an almost terrific showing where the listing agent thought it would be a great idea to pop in unannounced near the end and re-shuffle the brochure box. I, personally, was more annoyed at her lack of a plausible excuse. (I mean if you are going to be that bold you should think it through - 5 pieces of paper laying on the counter don't need straightening - bring some extra flyers in and at least take a stab at convincing me.) But, the buyers on the other hand were completely turned off. Talk about throwing ice water on that fire. Why did her mere appearance spoil an otherwise great showing? Well an educated buyer who is working with their own buyer's agent will view your agent as a sort of spy. No one likes being spied on. If they feel that they can't speak freely, they may get more caught up in being offended than in the house.
5. Letting it Sink in - Talking about your home in hushed tones in the driveway is not the same thing as letting it sink in while standing in their favorite room of the house. Buying a home isn't just about the stats -- square footage, number of bedrooms, and lot size. Homes also have a feeling to them and I can't create that back at my office. Now, don't worry we shouldn't need to arrange an overnight stay or anything. But, I do need to let the clients spend enough time in the home to let the feeling of the home sink in so they can call that feeling back up when it is time to decide which home they want to buy. Ten or fifteen uninterrupted minutes will typically suffice. But, if you are there doing a last minute vacuum job in the bedroom (helping?), the vibe may never arrive. As a buyer's agent, I want to sell your house, but if you turn your home into an obstacle course of distractions, I can only do so much. I'm a REALTOR®, not a miracle worker.
If you are thinking of selling your Central Coast home, you need an experienced REALTOR® on your side to help you avoid common seller pitfalls and guide you through the process of getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar. Creating a showing environment that is welcoming to potential buyers is a big part of that. When you are ready to list your home, contact me at (805) 878-9879 for a consultation.
Tni LeBlanc, Mint Properties
CA DRE License # 01871795
*Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.
Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2011 *5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown*
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