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I always advise my sellers to leave the house when there is a showing. That philosophy was recently reinforced to me when I was house-shopping in Destin, Florida. I set an appointment to view a home for myself and my husband. The house would be vacant and open for us, according to the listing agent. We drove up, parked in front and went to the door. I gave a courtesy “knock” before turning the handle, then heard dogs barking. Not a good sign.
The seller answered the door, holding back several large jumping dogs. Here is what I was thinking as the “buyer”.
“Dogs! All I see are dogs trying to jump on me! Where is the house? I wanted to relax when I walked in, taking in the feeling of the home.”
Next, the seller pulled the dogs away, introduced herself, and said she could hold them while we “started” in the kitchen, then she would lock them in there.
“Great! I have to look at the kitchen first. I cannot even look at the foyer. Oh, she’s not leaving. She’s going to stay during the showing. Wonderful. I haven’t had a chance to think about the house since she answered the door.”
We hustled through the kitchen, knowing the seller was making an effort to control her dogs. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t verbalize my thoughts to my husband, as the seller was within ear shot. After she put the dogs in the kitchen she proceeded to tell us about all the improvements to the house. That's when I noticed the music... I suppose it was what the seller liked.
“What is that blaring music? I just want to look at the house.”
She followed us from room to room. When I needed to tell my husband something privately, such as a remodeling idea, I would waive to him to follow me. I think the seller thought it was odd. When we got a one minute "break" it was a lot. We learned the cost of construction of the home, and what a great value it was. We couldn’t “re-build” it for that price, we were told. And on and on.
When we left, we eliminated the house. If the seller hadn’t been there, it would have made a better impression. With the seller there, it took away the buyer’s free “eyes” for the property. The dogs and distraction immediately upon entering were another “take away”.
If you really want to sell your house, don't be present during showings. Don’t meet and greet the buyers, “while” you are leaving or taking the dogs out. You should already be gone. Don't play your music. If you have to be home, don’t be seen or heard, just be "sold".
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". She has successfully helped hundreds of families avoid foreclosure through short sale along the Emerald Coast of Florida. Wendy Rulnick is knowledgeable in all aspects of short sale, including VA Compromise Sale, FHA HUD pre-foreclosure sale, HAP military PCS, HAFA, Bank of America Coop program and more. She is also co-founder of www.ShortSaleSuperstars.com and short sale instructor to agents across the United States. Wendy Rulnick sells real estate inDestin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.